| Illustrated photo (Source: AFP/VNA)
The report shows that the pandemic wiped out 21 years of global passenger traffic growth in a matter of months, reducing traffic this year to levels last seen in 1999. Passenger traffic shrank 67% in 2020.
At the peak of the disruption in April, scheduled passenger flights dropped to just 13,600 globally. On the year’s busiest day, January 3, Cirium tracked over 95,000 scheduled passenger flights globally. This was an extraordinary 86% reduction in flights. From January to December airlines operated 49% fewer flights in 2020 than in 2019. Domestic travel was down 40% this year.
The report identified key trends for next year, including a consolidation of airlines, particularly in Asia-Pacific. New-generation aircraft like the A320neo and the return of the 737 Max, will provide reduced operating costs. The implementation of AI technology to automate the travel experience will continue, and aircraft leasing will push past 50%.