Global Air Passenger Traffic Plunges 94.3% In April Due To Covid-19: IATA
An exit sign is displayed inside an American Airlines MD-80 aircraft at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) near Dallas, Texas. (Photographer: Cooper Neill/Bloomberg)

Global Air Passenger Traffic Plunges 94.3% In April Due To Covid-19: IATA

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Global air passenger traffic plunged by 94.3% in April this year as compared to the same month a year ago as the coronavirus pandemic virtually shut down air travel across the world, the International Air Transport Association said on Wednesday.

"This is a rate of decline never seen in the history of IATA's traffic series, which dates back to 1990," said a press release by the organisation that has around 300 airlines as its members.

"Passenger demand in April (measured in revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs), plunged 94.3% compared to April 2019, as the Covid-19-related travel restrictions virtually shut down domestic and international air travel," the airlines body said.

The RPK for a flight is calculated by multiplying the number of passengers in the plane to the total distance travelled by it.

"April was a disaster for aviation as air travel almost entirely stopped. But April may also represent the nadir of the crisis. Flight numbers are increasing. Countries are beginning to lift mobility restrictions," said IATA's Director General and Chief Executive Alexandre de Juniac.

Also read: Will Try To Restart International Flights Before August, Says Aviation Minister

"And business confidence is showing improvement in key markets such as China, Germany, and the U.S. These are positive signs as we start to rebuild the industry from a stand-still. The initial green shoots will take time possibly years to mature, " he added.

India suspended all scheduled passenger flight operations on March 25. On May 25, the country resumed domestic passenger flight services. However, international passenger flights continue to remain suspended in India.

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