Coronavirus: impact on the aviation industry worldwide - statistics & facts
The new decade began with numerous countries shutting down their borders in response to the arrival of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. This was subsequently followed by the introduction of multiple restrictions and regulations that limited the free movement of individuals in an attempt to curb the spread of the virus.
The sharp decline in global travel led to drastic financial performances in the aviation industry. The year 2020 ended with commercial airlines’ passenger revenue amounting to 189 billion U.S. dollars. This illustrated a significant decrease relative to the 581 billion U.S. dollars reported before the pandemic. The aviation industry is estimated to have experienced revenue losses amounting to 370 billion U.S. dollars in the same period. Additionally, airports were greatly affected, reporting revenue losses amounting to 121.8 billion U.S. dollars in 2020 and further 111.4 billion U.S. dollars losses are estimated for 2021.
Air cargo - a source of oxygen for airlines
Though the commercial aviation took a large blow, global air freight traffic reduced slightly after the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic. By 2022, air freight traffic is expected to grow to 69.3 million metric tons, an increase relative to the 56.1 million metric tons reported when the virus spread in 2020. In addition, revenue generated by cargo airlines grew substantially during the pandemic, amounting to 175 billion U.S. dollars in 2021.
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Erick Burgueño Salas
Research expert covering climate change and the water industry