The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has warned that the imposition of travel bans by governments, against the advice of the World Health Organization (WHO), could threaten the aviation sector’s recovery.
This was confirmed in a statement issued by the global body and shared with Nairametrics on Thursday.
According to the statement, the recovery in air travel, which was witnessed in October 2021 with broad-based improvements in both domestic and international markets, will be threatened with the travel ban.
What IATA is saying about the travel ban
It stated, “The imposition of travel bans by governments, against the advice of the World Health Organization (WHO) could threaten the sector’s recovery.
“This is because comparisons between 2021 and 2020 monthly results are distorted by the extraordinary impact of COVID-19, unless otherwise noted all comparisons are to October 2019, which followed a normal demand pattern.”
Highlights of IATA’s October report
Total demand for air travel in October 2021 (measured in revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs) was down 49.4% compared to October 2019. This was improved over the 53.3% fall recorded in September 2021, compared to two years earlier.
African airlines’ traffic fell 60.2% in October versus two years’ ago. Traffic in September was down 62.1% over the corresponding 2019 period. October capacity was down 49.0% and load factor declined 15.2 percentage points to 54.1%.
Domestic markets were down 21.6% compared to October 2019, bettering the 24.2% decline recorded in September versus September 2019.
International passenger demand in October was 65.5% below October 2019, compared to a 69.0% decline for September versus the 2019 period, with all regions showing improvement.
Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General, stated, “October’s traffic performance reinforces that people will travel when they are permitted to. Unfortunately, government responses to the emergence of the Omicron variant are putting at risk the global connectivity it has taken so long to rebuild.”
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Nairametrics recently reported that Canada-bound Nigerian travellers have expressed disappointment in the travel ban issued by the Canadian government on travellers from Nigeria following the detection of the Omicron variant of the Coronavirus in the country.
While some of the travellers were hoping to travel to the North American country for holidays, others had set their eyes on permanent immigration to what is usually termed “greener pasture”. Unfortunately, the hopes of leaving the country anytime soon may have just been dashed by the announcement of the travel ban.