Airlines carried 60% fewer passengers in 2020

Transport companies and all companies in the airline sector suffered serious losses last year due to the health crisis. The number of passengers fell by 60% compared to 2019.

The fall for the aviation sector was harder in 2020. The annual results of the ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization), the United Nations specialized agency, are catastrophic for the entire sector. The companies carried 1.8 billion passengers last year, 60% less than in 2019 when they were 4.5 billion. In detail, the drop in the number of passengers on domestic routes stood at 50%, against 74% on international flights (which represents 1.4 billion fewer passengers). Airlines have suffered a shortfall of US $ 370 billion! Most of them owe their survival only to massive government aid.

370 billion in losses for airlines

The airports were also, and quite logically, affected with losses of 115 billion dollars. Air navigation services recorded losses of 13 billion. ICAO fears that the health and economic crisis will call into question the financial viability of the industry, and that it threatens ” millions of jobs around the world “. The situation is not expected to improve in the first quarter as the world battles an even bigger second wave. New restriction measures have therefore been put in place to reduce cases of contamination. The hope lies in the vaccination campaigns which will restore a semblance of normal life in the coming months.

New restriction measures

The ICAO recalls that the situation was even more difficult last April, with the number of passengers falling sharply by 92% compared to the same period in 2019. Traffic resumed during the summer in northern countries , but as of September and the reappearance of the coronavirus, the sector recorded a further drop in the number of passengers as countries reinstate lockdowns and restrictions. The organization says domestic flights have returned to pre-crisis levels in Russia and China.