Middle Eastern airlines posted a 98 per cent traffic contraction for the month May, compared with a 97.3 per cent demand drop in April, new data revealed.
According to figures released by the International Air Transport Association (Iata), capacity tumbled 93.9 per cent, and load factor sagged to 23.9 per cent, down 49.1 percentage points compared to the year ago period.
International passenger demand for the month of May fell 98.3 per cent compared to May 2019, which was virtually unchanged from the 98.4 per cent decline recorded in April. All regions recorded double-digit percentage traffic declines, cpacity plummeted 95.3 per cent and load factor sank 51.9 percentage points to 28.6 per cent, meaning a bit more than a quarter of seats were filled, on average.
Demand for domestic travel fell 79.2 per cent in May. This was an improvement compared to an 86.2 per cent decline in April. Domestic capacity fell 69.2 per cent and load factor dropped 27.2 percentage points to 56.9 per cent.
Global passenger traffic data for May (measured in revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs), dropped 91.3 per cent compared to May 2019. This was a mild uptick from the 94 per cent annual decline recorded in April. The improvement was driven by recovery in some domestic markets, most notably China.
“May was not quite as terrible as April. That’s about the best thing that can be said. As predicted, the first improvements in passenger demand are occurring in domestic markets. International traffic remained virtually stopped in May. We are only at the very beginning of a long and difficult recovery. And there is tremendous uncertainty about what impact a resurgence of new Covid-19 cases in key markets could have,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.