Friday, April 24, 2020

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

International passenger capacity for India plunged by a whopping 89 per cent so far in April due to the COVID-19 pandemic as compared to a “business-as-usual” scenario, according to the latest projections from the International Civil Aviation Organisation.

The Montreal-based ICAO, the specialised agency of the United Nations, 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.
In February 2020, international passenger capacity reduced by 13 per cent, mainly related to traffic from/to States experiencing an early outbreak and States deeply interconnected to China.

By March, global international passenger capacity reduced by 49 per cent, with 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 per cent reduction.

For India, the international passenger capacity has reduced by 89 per cent 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 per cent 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 per cent 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.
24/04/20 PTI/Financial Express
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