Global air travel demand in August contracted by 75.3 percent year over year, a sign of a continuing modest recovery since reaching a low point in April, according to the International Air Transport Association. Compared with July, when there was a 79.5 percent year-over-year contraction, the pace of relative demand growth remains slow, IATA reported.
Global August air capacity dropped by 63.8 percent year over year. Load factor dropped 27.2 percentage points year over year to 58.5 percent, a record low for the month of August.
August crossborder air travel fell 88.3 percent year over year. Capacity was down 79.5 percent year over year. Load factor was 48.7 percent, down 37 percentage points year over year. Most regions saw drops of more than 90 percent year over year. The only exception was Europe, where the year-over-year occupancy decline was 79.9 percent in August compared with 87 percent in July. IATA attributed this to increasing demand on intra-European routes, where majority of restrictions within the Schengen area were lifted in mid-June. However, IATA said the recent spike of Covid-19 cases and related capacity cuts indicate that the improvement might not continue into September.
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Domestic markets continue to drive the relatively modest rebound, with August domestic traffic down 50.9 percent year over year, a mild improvement from July, which saw a 56.9 percent year over year drop, according to IATA. August passenger traffic in Russia increased 3.8 percent year over year, making it the first country to have such a year-over-year increase since the pandemic began, according to IATA.
Overall August domestic capacity fell 34.5 percent year over year. August domestic load factor fell 21.5 percentage points to 64.2 percent.
“August’s disastrous traffic performance puts a cap on the industry’s worst-ever summer season,” said IATA Director General and CEO Alexandre de Juniac. “International demand recovery is virtually non-existent and domestic markets in Australia and Japan actually regressed in the face of new outbreaks and travel restrictions.”
July air traffic and capacity