Report: 20 Years Of Airline Growth Has Been Erased In 2020

A new report by Cirium has found that more than two decades of growth in airline passenger traffic were erased in 2020. Cirium, a travel data and analytics company highlighted that “The pandemic and its consequences wiped out 21 years of global passenger traffic growth in a matter of months, reducing traffic this year to levels last seen in 1999. In comparison to last year, passenger traffic is estimated to be down 67% in 2020.”

More than 40 airlines have been forced to close down due to the pandemic

In 2020, only 2.9 trillion global revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs) were recorded. RPKs are used to measure airline traffic. These figures touched 8.7 trillion in 2019. Data by Cirium further showed that airlines operated 16.8 million flights from Jan. 1 to Dec. 20, 2020. That’s down from 33.2 million in the same period in 2019. More than 40 airlines have been forced to cease operations due to the pandemic. Experts predict that more airlines will follow suit in 2021. The Airline Insights Review 2020 report by Cirium has also revealed that Asia-Pacific and North America were the “fastest to establish themselves on the long path to recovery.” 

David White, a vice president of strategy at Cirium, told CNBC that it appears that airports such as New York’s John F. Kennedy have been “disproportionately impacted due to their international traffic in normal times. Airports such as Minneapolis, O’Hare (Chicago), [Dallas-Fort Worth], Atlanta and Charlotte have significantly higher traffic than JFK now due to the volume of domestic flights at those domestic hub airports,” he said. 

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