COVID-19 impact: Air passenger number collapses in Asia Pacific, decline in cargo markets deepens on weak demand

The rapid spread of COVID-19 resulting in border closures and travel restrictions across the world forced an almost complete shutdown of international airline operations.

Asian News International May 28, 2020 19:12:11 IST
COVID-19 impact: Air passenger number collapses in Asia Pacific, decline in cargo markets deepens on weak demand

Kuala Lumpur: Asia Pacific airlines saw international passenger numbers plunge 98.8 percent year-on-year to a combined total of just 3.68 lakh passengers in April as compared to the 3.19 crore carried in the same month last year, according to the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA).

The average international passenger load factor slumped to a historical low of 28 percent for the month as available seat capacity declined by 94.6 percent.

The rapid spread of COVID-19 resulting in border closures and travel restrictions across the world forced an almost complete shutdown of international airline operations.

Meanwhile, air cargo markets remained active but were affected by weakening demand and disruptions to global supply chains, including the sharp reduction in passenger belly-hold capacity, said AAPA.

Click here to follow LIVE updates on coronavirus outbreak

With the COVID-19 crisis escalating in many countries, community-wide lockdowns and social distancing measures dampened consumer demand leading to a marked slowdown in global trade and manufacturing activity.

As a result, Asian airlines saw air cargo demand as measured in freight tonne-kilometre fall by 28.3 percent year-on-year in April.

In addition, the grounding of most of the region's passenger fleets further reduced air cargo capacity in the market.

Although partly mitigated by additional freighter operations and the deployment of cargo-only passenger flights, offered freight capacity fell by 38.3 percent, leading to a 9.4 percentage point increase in the average international freight load factor to 67.5 percent for the month.

"Uncertainty remains as to how long the crisis will persist. Nevertheless, with infection curves showing signs of flattening, it is hoped that conditions are beginning to bottom out," said AAPA Director-General Subhas Menon.

"However, patchy and uncoordinated measures across countries, including various screening protocols and often onerous quarantine requirements, are deterring passengers from flying and slowing the process of restarting aviation," he said in a statement.

Updated Date:

also read

'Protection is must': Experts urge public to strictly follow COVID-19 guidelines as India reports over 5 lakh cases
India

'Protection is must': Experts urge public to strictly follow COVID-19 guidelines as India reports over 5 lakh cases

Medical experts told ANI that the rise in cases in India is still not high as compared to other countries but said that people should follow COVID-19 guidelines such as wearing face masks. Dr Suresh Kumar, Medical Director, Lok Nayak Jai Prakash (LNJP) Hospital said that urban mobility is a likely cause in the spike in cases.

As world waits for COVID-19 vaccine, India must use time to build robust immunisation plan, delivery system for last-mile reach
India

As world waits for COVID-19 vaccine, India must use time to build robust immunisation plan, delivery system for last-mile reach

Right from selecting the strategy for delivery of COVID-19 vaccine to recruiting a large volunteer staff, every tool must be analysed from the perspective of India’s unique public health system and its capabilities

India reports 14,821 new COVID-19 patients, 445 deaths in past 24 hours; total case count crosses 4.2 lakh with toll now at 13,699
India

India reports 14,821 new COVID-19 patients, 445 deaths in past 24 hours; total case count crosses 4.2 lakh with toll now at 13,699

India on Monday added 14,821 new COVID-19 cases pushing the infection tally to 4,25,282, while the death toll rose to 13,699 with 445 new fatalities, according to Union Health Ministry data.