(07 Jan 2021)
IATA has reported that in November 2020, demand,
measured in revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs), was down 70.3%
when compared to November 2019, and virtually unchanged from the
70.6% year-on-year decline recorded in October 2020.

November capacity was 58.6% below previous year
levels and load factor fell 23.0 percentage points to 58%, which
was a record low for the month.

International passenger
demand in November was 88.3% below November 2019, slightly worse
than the 87.6% year-on-year decline recorded in October. Capacity
fell 77.4% below previous year levels, and load factor dropped
38.7 percentage points to 41.5%. Europe was the main driver of the
weakness as new lockdowns weighed on travel demand.

Virgin Atlantic Boeing 787-9 reg: G-VWHO. Picture by Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com Click to enlarge.

Recovery in domestic demand, which had been the relative bright
spot, also stalled, with November domestic traffic down 41%
compared to the prior year (it stood at 41.1% below the previous
year’s level in October). Capacity was 27.1% down on 2019 levels
and the load factor dropped 15.7 percentage points to 66.6%.

“The already tepid recovery in air travel demand came to a
full stop in November,” said Alexandre de
Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO. “That’s because governments responded to new
outbreaks with even more severe travel restrictions and quarantine
measures. This is clearly inefficient. Such measures increase
hardship for millions. Vaccines offer the long-term solution. In
the meantime, testing is the best way that we see to stop the
spread of the virus and start the economic recovery. How much more
anguish do people need to go through—job losses, mental
stress—before governments will understand that?”

Asia-Pacific airlines’ November traffic plunged 95% compared to
the year-ago period, which was barely changed from the 95.3%
decline in October. The region continued to suffer from the
steepest traffic declines for a fifth consecutive month. Capacity
dropped 87.4% and load factor sank 48.4 percentage points to
31.6%, the lowest among regions.

European carriers saw an
87.0% decline in traffic in November versus a year ago, worsened
from an 83% decline in October. Capacity withered 76.5% and load
factor fell by 37.4 percentage points to 46.6%.

Middle Eastern
airlines’ demand plummeted 86.0% in November year-to-year, which
was improved from an 86.9% demand drop in October. Capacity fell
71.0%, and load factor declined 37.9 percentage points to 35.3%.

North American carriers had an 83.0% traffic drop in
November, versus an 87.8% decline in October. Capacity dived
66.1%, and load factor dropped 40.5 percentage points to 40.8%.

Latin American airlines experienced a 78.6% demand drop in
November, compared to the same month last year, improved from an
86.1% decline in October year-to-year. This was the strongest
improvement of any region. Routes to/from Central America were the
most resilient as governments reduced travel
restrictions—especially quarantine requirements. November capacity
was 72.0% down and load factor dropped 19.5 percentage points to
62.7%, highest by far among the regions, for a second consecutive
month.

African airlines’ traffic sank 76.7% in November,
little changed from a 77.2% drop in October, but the best
performance among the regions. Capacity contracted 63.7%, and load
factor fell 25.2 percentage points to 45.2%.

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