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International passenger travel declined in February 2021 according to IATA


The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has responded that passenger traffic fell in February 2021 compared to pre-COVID levels in February 2019 and compared to the immediate month prior in January 2021.



International passenger demand in February was 88.7% below February 2019 which is a further drop from the 85.7% year-to-year decline recorded in January.


It is also the worst growth outcome since July 2020. Performance in all regions has dropped compared to January 2021.


“February showed no indication of a recovery in demand for international air travel. In fact, most indicators went in the wrong direction as travel restrictions tightened in the face of continuing concerns over new coronavirus variants. An important exception was the Australian domestic market.”


“A relaxation of restrictions on domestic flying resulted in significantly more travel. This tells us that people have not lost their desire to travel. They will fly, provided they can do so without facing quarantine measures,” Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director-General.


Asia-Pacific region still has the biggest drop in passenger traffic as it was down 95.2% compared to February 2019. Passenger decline was at 94.8% in January 2021 compared to January 2019.


Passenger travel is expected to grow with immediate effect when strict travel restrictions enforced are lightened.


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