Financial assistance and relief is needed to safeguard essential operations and protect millions of jobs generated by the airport industry.
ACI World’s data has revealed that global passenger traffic declined by an unprecedented 94.4 per cent year-over-year in April as a result of COVID-19.
This followed an already dramatic drop of 55.9 per cent in March, representing the worst decline of global passenger numbers in the history of the aviation industry.
Global passenger traffic experienced an overall drop of 41.8 per cent for the first four months of 2020 with the 12-month rolling average for the global industry continuing to decline.
Global air freight volumes declined by 22.6 per cent compared to April 2019 resulting in a 10.8 per cent drop for the first four months of 2020. The global 12-month rolling average continued its negative trend to sit at 5.3 per cent by the end of the month.
Airports in some regions are now embarking on restarting operations and making plans for a sustained, long-term recovery. ACI World has said that financial assistance and relief is needed to safeguard essential operations and protect millions of jobs generated by aviation.
“April was devastating for the aviation industry as global air travel almost came to a complete halt with national governments making unilateral decisions to implement strict confinement measures in the second week to contain the COVID-19 outbreak heavily affecting the movement of passengers,” ACI World Director General, Luis Felipe de Oliveira, said. “Coordinated actions must be planned in supporting the industry restart to avoid the lack of coordination we faced as the restrictions were first applied on travel around the world.
“As in previous months, global air freight volumes have not been affected to the same extent as passenger traffic. Recently converted passenger aircraft into temporary freighters helped the cargo industry to move time-sensitive shipments and vital supplies, including urgent medical supplies and goods to support the global economy.
“Airports, like other industry sectors, need urgent relief and assistance to help them as they begin to restart operations, to navigate the far-reaching economic ramifications of the crisis and help lay the foundation of a balanced recovery. Any policies supporting the reduction of income from airports or a blanket slots waiver will damage the ability of airports to lead the industry recovery which includes several sectors working within the airports ecosystem.
“Airports continue to face high fixed costs, rising costs, related to health measures at airports and the challenge of creeping increases in the cost of capital. ACI World believes government assistance is needed to address these costs, to help safeguard essential operations, and protect millions of jobs.”