- India’s domestic market saw a 27.0% decline in October demand compared to October 2019 – greatly improved from a 40.5% fall in September following the easing of some control measures.
- Russia’s October domestic traffic was up 24% compared to October 2019, which was deceleration from the 29.3% growth recorded in September 2021 over the two-year ago period, attributable to a strong wave of COVID-19 and the start of the winter travel season.
The Bottom Line
“The lifting of the US restrictions on travel from some 33 countries last month raised hopes that a surge in pent-up travel demand would buoy traffic over the coming Northern Hemisphere winter. But the emergence of the Omicron variant panicked many governments into once again restricting or entirely removing the freedom to travel—even though WHO clearly advised that ‘blanket travel bans will not prevent the international spread, and they place a heavy burden on lives and livelihoods.’ The logic of the WHO advice was evident within days of Omicron’s identification in South Africa, with its presence already confirmed in all continents. The ill-advised travel bans are as ineffective as closing the barn door after the horse has bolted,” added Walsh.
Last month, IATA released a Blueprint to help guide governments in safely re-opening their borders with data-driven decision-making. Specifically, IATA urged governments to focus on three key areas:
- Simplified health protocols
- Digital solutions to process health credentials
- COVID-19 measures proportionate to risk levels with a continuous review process
“Additionally, governments must address the terrible disparity in vaccination rates that has seen the developed world offering boosters at a time when less than 10% of the African continent is fully vaccinated,” concluded Walsh.
View the full October Air Passenger Market Analysis