Global air travel demand in July plunged 79.8 percent year over year, according to the International Air Transport Association. That’s an improvement compared with June, when such demand dropped had an 86.6 percent year over year. In July, global capacity fell 70.1 percent and global load factor fell by 27.7 percentage points year over year to 57.9 percent, a record low for the month.
“The crisis in demand continued with little respite in July. With essentially four in five air travelers staying home, the industry remains largely paralyzed,” said IATA director general and CEO Alexandre de Juniac. “Governments reopening and then closing borders or removing and then re-imposing quarantines does not give many consumers confidence to make travel plans, nor airlines to rebuild schedules.”
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IATA attributes the relative improvement in July global air travel demand from June to domestic air travel demand. July domestic air travel demand dropped 57.5 percent year over year, an improvement from June, when it declined 68 percent. The improvement primarily was driven by China and Russia, according to IATA. Other key domestic markets, such as the United States and Brazil, have seen their pace of improvement slow because of coronavirus outbreaks. Overall July domestic capacity fell 42.4 percent year over year, and domestic load factor dropped 22.9 percentage points to 63.3 percent.
While most international routes in July remained shuttered or had reduced flight frequency, crossborder air travel slightly improved from June. Crossborder travel dropped 91.9 percent year over year in July, while June had a 96.8 percent drop. The improvement was primarily due to boosted crossborder air demand in Europe after the relaxing of travel restrictions within the Schengen Area in mid-June, according to IATA. Other international markets, however, showed little improvement in demand compared with June. In addition, crossborder capacity dropped 85.2 percent year over year. Load factor fell 38.9 percentage points to 46.4 percent.
June air traffic and capacity