International air passenger capacity for India reduced by 89% in April due to COVID-19: UN

International passenger capacity for India reduced by 89 percent so far this month due to the COVID-19 pandemic as compared to a “business-as-usual” scenario, according to the latest projections from the United Nations specialised agency for international civil aviation

Press Trust of India April 24, 2020 11:55:02 IST
International air passenger capacity for India reduced by 89% in April due to COVID-19: UN

United Nations: International passenger capacity for India reduced by 89 percent so far this month due to the COVID-19 pandemic as compared to a “business-as-usual” scenario, according to the latest projections from the United Nations specialised agency for international civil aviation.

The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) said that by September, the world could have 1.2 billion fewer international air travellers, compared to regular originally planned or “business-as-usual”.

Estimates by the organisation show a dramatic reduction in international passenger capacity for countries across the world between January and April, as the COVID-19 pandemic spread globally.

International air passenger capacity for India reduced by 89 in April due to COVID19 UN

Representational image. Reuters.

In February 2020, international passenger capacity reduced by 13 percent, mainly related to traffic from/to States experiencing an early outbreak and States deeply interconnected to China.

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By March, global international passenger capacity reduced by 49 percent, with the significant reduction not only in States experiencing an early outbreak but also worldwide.

In April 2020, global international passenger capacity so far experienced by unprecedented 91 percent reduction.

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For India, the international passenger capacity has reduced by 89 percent so far in April or a negative 6,263,030 capacity change from originally planned or in a business as usual scenario.

In January, there was zero reduction for India in international passenger capacity as the pandemic was in its nascent stages across most of the world, except China, and air travel was still not significantly impacted.

The passenger capacity reduction was about 2 percent for India in February.

However by March, when the World Health Organisation had declared COVID-19 a global pandemic and infection rates were soaring across the world, India witnessed a 29 percent capacity reduction, with capacity falling 2,077,578 as compared to originally-planned.

ICAO estimates also show that international capacity globally could drop by as much as two-thirds from what had been forecast for the first three quarters this year, leading airline revenues to drop by as much 160 to 253 billion dollars for the January to September period.

It said Europe and the Asia-Pacific will be hardest hit by the capacity and revenue impacts, followed by North America.

Similarly, the most substantial reduction in passenger numbers is expected to be in Europe, especially during its peak summer travel season, followed by the Asia-Pacific.

"As overall severity and duration of the pandemic are still uncertain, ICAO has developed six different recovery paths under two indicative scenarios to explore the potential short-term economic implication of the COVID-19 pandemic,” ICAO Secretary General Fang Liu said.

The agency said that prior to the outbreak, airlines had planned to increase seat capacity by 4.2 percent for the first 9 months of 2020, compared to the same period of 2019.

According to the latest estimates, passenger seat capacity could instead drop anywhere between 41 percent to 67 percent.

Given the originally planned seat capacity, passenger demand could have increased by 64 million for the first 9 months of 2020, compared to the same period of 2019.

However, passenger demand could now drop by 705 million-1,177 million depending on whether the first sign of recovery appears in late May or in the third quarter of the year and later.

With the originally planned seat capacity and trend line growth of demand, airlines' gross passenger operating revenues could have increased $15 billion for the first 9 months of 2020, compared to the same period of 2019.

However, according to the latest estimates, airlines' revenues could instead plummet $160 to 218 billion if the first sign of recovery comes in late May and $218 to 253 billion if recovery restarts in the third quarter.

Over two-third of revenue loss would be recorded by Asia/Pacific and Europe.

Updated Date:

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