Though continued easing of restrictions has led to increased airline ticket sales, more can be done, says IATA
- In the period around 8 February (7 day moving average) the number of tickets sold stood at 49% of the same period in 2019
- In the period around 25 January (7 day moving average) the number of tickets sold stood at 38% of the same period in 2019
- The 11-percentage point improvement between the January and February periods is the fastest increase for any two-week period since the crisis began
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has released data showing growing momentum in the recovery of air travel as restrictions continue to be lifted.
The IATA reported an 11% increase for international tickets sold in recent weeks in comparison to 2019 sales. The improvement between the January and February is the fastest increase for any two-week period since the pandemic began.
The jump in ticket sales comes as more governments announce a relaxation of Covid-19 border restrictions. An IATA survey of travel restrictions for the world’s top 50 air travel markets revealed the growing number of destinations available to vaccinated travellers.
Following a relaxation of regulations in countries including Australia, France, Portugal, the Philippines, the UK, Switzerland and Sweden, currently, 37 markets are open to vaccinated travellers under varying conditions; 18 having no restrictions, while others requiring testing or quarantine or both.
IATA director general Willie Walsh said: “Momentum toward normalising traffic is growing. Vaccinated travellers have the potential to travel much more extensively with fewer hassles than even a few weeks ago. This is giving growing numbers of travellers the confidence to buy tickets. And that is good news. Now we need to further accelerate the removal of travel restrictions. While recent progress is impressive, the world remains far from 2019 levels of connectivity.
13 of the top 50 travel markets still do not provide easy access to all vaccinated travellers. That includes major economies like China, Japan, Russia, Indonesia, and Italy
“Travel restrictions have had a severe impact on people and on economies. They have not, however, stopped the spread of the virus. And it is time for their removal as we learn to live and travel in a world that will have risks of Covid-19 for the foreseeable future. This means putting a stop to the singling out of the travelling population for special measures. In nearly all cases, travellers don’t bring any more risk to a market than is already there. Many governments have recognized this already and removed restrictions. Many more need to follow.”
The IATA continues to call for removing all travel restrictions, including quarantine and testing) for those fully vaccinated with a WHO-approved vaccine.
For more information, visit www.iata.org