OdishaPlus Bureau

Global air passenger traffic will not return to pre-COVID levels until 2024, a year later than previously projected, as international travel curbs remain in place in most countries due to the coronavirus pandemic, IATA said Tuesday. Moreover, the overall domestic passenger traffic was 86.5 percent less in June 2020 than what was observed a year ago, the global airlines body added.

Passenger traffic is measured in revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs), which is calculated by multiplying the number of seats that were filled with passengers to the distance travelled by the flight. The IATA, which has around 290 airlines as its members, said the international passenger traffic in June was 96.8 per cent less than the figures of June 2019.

“Global passenger traffic (RPKs) will not return to pre-COVID-19 levels until 2024, a year later than previously projected,” it said. Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director general and CEO, said: “Most countries are still closed to international arrivals or have imposed quarantines that have the same effect as an outright lockdown.

IATA CEO Alexandre de Juniac

“”Summer, our industry’s busiest season, is passing by rapidly; with little chance for an upswing in international air travel unless governments move quickly and decisively to find alternatives to border closures, confidence destroying stop-start, reopenings and demand-killing quarantine,” said de Juniac.

Scheduled international passenger flights continue to remain suspended in India since March 23. However, India has formed bilateral air bubbles with countries like the US, Germany and France to allow airlines of the two countries in the pact to operate special international flights between them.

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