MIAMI – The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released today its traffic forecast for 2020 with a 66% drop compared to 2019, which reflects a “weaker-than-expected recovery.” Previously, the association estimated a decline of 63%.

In August, the RPKs and ASKs continued their downward trends, recording 75.3% and 63.8%, respectively, in comparison to August 2019. Regarding the load factor, it dropped 27.2 points to an all-time low for August of 58.5%.

IATA also states that in August 2020, the recovery in air passenger services recorded a halt. This follows the fact that several government-imposed restrictions were put in place again due to new COVID-19 outbreaks.

For Q4 2020, IATA forecasts that recovery will continue to falter, according to forwarding booking numbers. The global RPKs, therefore, is now expected to have a drop of 68% in December from a year ago. The prior estimation was -55%.

IATA Director General and CEO Alexandre de Juniac explained that August had a “disastrous” traffic performance. The numbers “put a cap” on the “industry’s worst-ever summer season.” He added that, currently, the international demand recovery is “non-existent.”

woman sitting on luggage
Photo by Anna Shvets on

Detailed Numbers of International Markets

Compared to July’s decline, overall August numbers slightly improved. However, the stats by themselves show an international passenger demand drop of 88.3%, a capacity drop of 79.5%, and a load factor fall of 48.7%.

Total Market100.0%-75.3%-63.8%-27.2%58.5%
Asia Pacific34.6%-69.2%-60.3%-19.0%65.0%
Latin America5.1%-82.8%-77.5%-19.3%63.9%
Middle East9.1%-91.3%-80.8%-44.9%37.2%
North America22.3%-77.8%-59.4%-39.5%47.7%

Detailed Numbers of Domestic Markets

In August, domestic traffic fell by 50.9%, but it recorded a slight improvement in comparison to a 56.9% decline in July. As major indicators, inbound capacity went down to 34.5% and load factor fell to 64.2%.

Total Market36.2%-50.9%-34.5%-21.5%64.2%
Dom. Australia0.8%-91.5%-81.2%-44.9%37.1%
Dom. Brazil1.1%-67.0%-64.3%-6.4%76.1%
Dom. China P.R.5.1%-19.1%-5.9%-12.3%75.3%
Dom. India1.3%-73.6%-66.0%-19.1%66.2%
Dom. Japan6.1%-68.6%-28.4%-45.6%35.6%
Dom. Russian Federation1.5%-3.8%-9.3%-4.6%86.4%
Dom. US14.0%-69.3%-45.7%-37.7%48.9%

Featured photo: Airplanes at Airport. Photo: Brett Sayles.