The 700 million passenger hole – border restrictions and quarantine measures are delivering further economic damage to Europe’s aviation sector
Latest research from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) shows that the impact on the European aviation industry and on economies caused by the shutdown of air traffic due to the Covid-19 pandemic have worsened over recent weeks as spikes in infections have seen the introduction of more restrictive practices.
The European market has seen an increase in the number of flights in recent months, supported by the reopening of borders between countries of the Schengen area and the non-Schengen EU states, but flight levels are still more than -50% below the same period in 2019. IATA says for the full year passenger numbers are currently forecast to be down by around -60%, which represents about 705 million passenger journeys.
The near-term outlook for recovery in Europe remains highly uncertain with respect to the second wave of the pandemic and the broader global economic impact it could have. IATA has already offered its projections for the global industry and acknowledges that similarly passenger demand in Europe is expected to recover gradually and will not reach 2019 levels until 2024.
With air travel not recovering as originally hoped, IATA says the negative impact on employment has increased. More than seven million jobs supported by aviation (including tourism) in Europe are now at risk (up from around the six million level it estimated in Jun-2020).
“It is desperately worrying to see a further decline in prospects for air travel this year, and the knock-on impact for employment and prosperity. It shows once again the terrible effect that is being felt by families across Europe as border restrictions and quarantine continue,” says Rafael Schvartzman, IATA’s regional vice president for Europe.
IATA has reinforced its call urging governments to coordinate to lift border restrictions and find alternatives to quarantine measures to avoid further economic damage. “It is vital that governments and industry work together to create a harmonized plan for reopening borders,” explains Mr Schvartzman.
READ MORE via The Blue Swan Daily: The 700 million passenger hole – border restrictions and quarantine measures are delivering further economic damage to Europe’s aviation sector