Published on : Monday, November 8, 2021
Travel restrictions are easing worldwide as the vaccination rates are increasing each day, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has found through its latest economics’ chart.
According to IATA, travel restrictions that were imposed in order to halt the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic have been suppressing passenger demand and delaying travel recovery. However, during the fourth quarter of 2021, which at the same time is the final quarter of the year, several countries started to loosen their travel restrictions.
Consequently, the easing of travel rules has contributed to the immediate uptick in booking activity in the majority of markets and is expected to support international passenger demand over the upcoming months.
In line with IATA’s Economics analysis that is based on Oxford University data, during April 2020, Europe had some of the stringent travel restrictions in place. In contrast, right now, they remain relatively eased.
Similar to Europe, Central and South America kept strict travel restrictions during April, May, June, and July 2020. Nonetheless, the restrictions remain relaxed, at least for now.
The travel rules in Europe and North America have remained unchanged in recent weeks. However, as soon as the US Government announced that the country would reopen for travel from 33 world countries starting from November 8, a strong surge in ticket sales was registered.
Following the announcement on the reopening of the US-EU traffic, airlines’ scheduled capacity is expected to reach approximately 65 per cent of 2019 levels in November and around 75 per cent in December, which represents an increase of roughly 45 per cent compared to September.
Additionally, through the same report, it has been shown that except for Europe and the US, the Middle East and Africa continue to remain the regions with the least restrictive measures regarding international travel. The partial reopening of Australia and New Zealand are also expected to support the recovery of international traffic.
In contrast to the areas mentioned above, the key China market is expected to remain closed until the end of this year and at least for the first six months of 2022. For this reason, IATA has called for international cooperation to help a prompt recovery.
Successful vaccination rollout, effective international cooperation as well as the recognition of the WHO-approved vaccines, will be critical for the recovery of passenger revenues IATA emphasised.