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International air connectivity crisis threatens global economic recovery – IATA

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The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released data revealing that the COVID-19 crisis has had a devastating impact on international connectivity, shaking up the rankings of the world’s most connected cities.  

  • London, the world’s number one most connected city in September 2019, has seen a 67% decline in connectivity. By September 2020, it had fallen to number eight.  
  • Shanghai is now the top ranked city for connectivity with the top four most connected cities all in China—Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Chengdu.  
  • New York (-66% fall in connectivity), Tokyo (-65%), Bangkok (-81%), Hong Kong (-81%) and Seoul (-69%) have all exited the top ten.  
  • The study reveals that cities with large numbers of domestic connections now dominate, showing the extent to which international connectivity has been shut down. 

Africa suffered a 93% decline in connectivity. Ethiopia managed to buck the trend. During the first peak of the pandemic in April 2020, Ethiopia maintained connections with 88 international destinations. Many aviation markets reliant on tourism, such as Egypt, South Africa and Morocco, were particularly severely impacted.  

IATA also presented its revised outlook for the airline industry for the full 2020 trading year and looking ahead at 2021.  The headline forecast numbers for the industry performance are :

Global industry

2020: US$118.5 billion combined global net loss  (previously estimated at US$84.3billion loss in IATA’s June 2020 forecast)

2021: US$38.7 billion combined global net loss  (previously estimated at US$15.8 billion in IATA’s June 2020 forecast)

For Africa’s airlines:

2020:  US$2 billion combined net loss

2021: US$1.7 billion combined net loss

To read the full statement released by IATA, click here

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