Air travel recovery continued in November ahead of the Omicron outbreak, but the traffic improvement was smaller than in the previous months.
According to the November 2021 Air Passenger Market Analysis report by Iata, the industry-wide revenue passenger kms (RPKs) fell by 47% versus November 2019, compared with a 48,9% contraction in October last year.
Global international air travel sustained its steady upward trend as more markets reopened prior to the spread of Omicron. Global domestic RPKs fell by 24,9% versus 2019, compared with a 21,3% decline in October last year.
The emergence of the Omicron variant in late November and the related travel restrictions resulted in flight and trip cancellations, which negatively impacted RPKs on some routes at the end of the month.
Iata noted that it would need to wait for December and January data for a clearer picture of the full impact of the new variant on air traffic.
The African picture
- Traffic fell 56,8% in November versus November 2019;
- November’s figures improved over the 59,8% decline in October 2021 compared with October 2019;
- November capacity was down 49,6%;
- The average load factor (percentage of seats on sale having been taken up in the market) declined 10,1 percentage points to 60,3%.