There is a cautious optimism in the airline industry as sales of airline tickets returned to the four largest domestic markets – India, US, China and Russia – in early February after previous weakness caused by Omicron led to disruptions in demand, capacity and workforce, said the International Air Transport Association (IATA), an industry association of world airlines.
As air travel increases, IATA has urged countries to remove travel barriers, including quarantine and testing, for those who are fully vaccinated with a WHO-approved vaccine and allow quarantine-free travel for non-vaccinated travelers with a negative antigen test result before departure.
The four markets saw their total share of total traffic increase significantly during the crisis (50 percent of global passenger numbers in 2021 versus 34 percent in 2019). This means that their recovery from Omicron will help shape industry performance, IATA said.
As travelers tend to book closer to the travel date in the midst of pandemic uncertainty, the increase in bookings bodes well for actual traffic volumes in February and March, the airline said.
The U.S. has been the strongest performer, with ticket sales for all future travel reaching 98 percent of 2019 levels in early February; India was at 60 percent; and China 80 per cent. and Russia 75 per cent.
In India and the US, cases have fallen from their peak in January, but the pandemic continues to escalate in Russia.
The recent rise in domestic bookings in three of the four main domestic markets gives cause for cautious optimism about the short-term recovery in global domestic traffic. However, evidence from Russia shows that traffic improvement will not be broadly based on all markets, IATA said.
Passengers traveling to and from India’s metro capitals can confirm that domestic flights have changed drastically and perhaps permanently, said P Murugesan, Director, Pioneer Aero Travels (Madras) Pvt Ltd. In the coming days, the demand for domestic flights will increase. , but services will remain unpredictable for a number of reasons. But travel insurance should be an essential prerequisite for your domestic travel, he said.
“Travel restrictions have had a serious impact on people and economies. However, they have not stopped the spread of the virus. And it is time for their removal as we learn to live and travel in a world that will have risks for Covid in a For the foreseeable future, this means putting an end to the segregation of the traveling population for special measures. In almost all cases, travelers do not bring more risk to a market than there already is. “Many more must follow,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.
February 21, 2022