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          many countries have since then started to
          gradually reopen parts of their economy,
          a number of states were confronted with
          subsequent waves of infections and opted
          for the re-imposition of partial lockdowns.

          Looking back at 2020
              The COVID-19 crisis removed more
          than 6.1 billion passengers for the whole
          year 2020 compared to the projected
          baseline (pre-COVID-19 forecast for
          2020), representing a decline of 64.6% of
          global passenger traffic. Compared to 2019
          level, the decline is recorded at 63.3%.
              Europe and the Middle East were the
          two most impacted regions with declines
          of 70.5% each compared to the projected
              Asia-Pacific was hit by the virus first
          but embarked on recovery earlier and
          faster than other regions—mostly driven
          by China’s sizable domestic market. The
          region closed the year 2020 with a decline
          of 61.3% compared to the projected
          baseline (59.8% decline compared to 2019
          level). Asia-Pacific, however, recorded
          the highest traffic loss of all regions with
          a loss of 2.15 billion passengers in 2020
          compared to the projected baseline.
              Latin America-Caribbean was the least
          impacted of all regions posting a decline of
          61.1% compared to the projected baseline
          (-59.8% compared to 2019 level).
              International passenger traffic was
          virtually non-existent in the second half
          of 2020. International passenger volume
          ended the year below 1 billion passengers,
          a decrease of more than 75% compared to
          2019 volume.                      to return to travel with the biggest surge in   baseline (or -39.9% compared to 2019
              Domestic passenger traffic volume   Q3 and Q4 of 2021.           level).
          was helped by the early recovery of major   Similar to 2020, Europe and the   International passenger traffic is
          domestic markets like China, Russia and   Middle East are forecast to remain the two   expected to remain weak in the first half
          the U.S. Globally, domestic traffic volume   most impacted regions with declines of   of 2021, but early signs are pointing to a
          for 2020 was recorded slightly above 2.4   58.1% and 58.9%, respectively, compared   significant surge in air travel demand for
          billion passengers, a decline of 54.7%   to the projected baseline due to their high   the second half of 2021 as an increasing
          compared to 2019 volume.          dependence on international travel and   number of people get vaccinated and
                                            connectivity, which are recovering at a   international travel restrictions are
          Projections for 2021              slower pace than domestic travel.   gradually eased. While international
              The impact of the COVID-19 crisis   Following its early start to recovery,   passenger traffic volume will still lag
          is forecast to remove an additional 4.7   Asia-Pacific will outperform all other   behind domestic traffic in 2021, it is
          billion passengers by year end 2021   regions in each quarter of 2021 and is   forecast to end the year above 1.6 billion
          compared to the projected baseline   forecast to end the year 2021 with an   passenger or 43.4% of 2019 level (see
          (pre-COVID-19 forecast for 2021),   estimated traffic loss of 40.3% compared to   Chart 2).
          representing a decline of 47.5% of global   the projected baseline (a decline of 35.1%   Domestic passenger traffic began
          passenger traffic (see Table 1). Compared   compared to 2019 level).   recovering faster than international traffic.
          to 2019 levels, the decline is forecast to   Driven by the combination of a   Globally, domestic traffic will continue
          be -43.6% by year end. The first quarter   fast-recovering U.S. domestic market and   to increase in 2021 to reach close to 3.5
          of 2021 is expected to show little signs of   strong vaccination rate, North America   billion passengers by the end of 2021
          improvement compared to Q4 2020. As   forecast for 2021 will significantly improve   corresponding to 65.6% of the 2019 level
          the vaccination rollout and vaccine uptake   and the region is expected to end the year   (see Chart 2).
          increases, more passengers are expected   2021 at -43.5% compared to the projected

          The Virtual Summit of the Americas Issue April 2021                 6
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