COVID-19: Omicron causes sharp drop in airline ticket sales

Published on : Thursday, January 13, 2022

Airline ticket sales have fallen sharply since the end of 2021, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said Wednesday, blaming governments for having “over-reacted” to the Omicron COVID variant by closing borders.

IATA, which groups over 290 airlines, said international air travel had been slowly but steadily recovering from the mass shutdowns of 2020 and early 2021 before the fast-spreading Omicron strain was discovered at the end of November.

Ticket sales in November were 60.5 per cent below their pre-pandemic November 2019 level, marking an improvement on the 64.8 per cent decline recorded a month earlier.

Unfortunately, governments over-reacted to the emergence of the Omicron variant at the close of the month and resorted to the tried-and-failed methods of border closures, excessive testing of travellers and quarantine to slow the spread, IATA president Willie Walsh accused.

As a result, he said, the industry was bracing for a more difficult first quarter than expected.








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