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The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has downgraded the traffic forecast for 2020 to reflect a weaker-than-expected recovery.

“IATA now expects full-year 2020 traffic to be down 66 per cent compared to 2019. The previous estimate was for a 63 per cent decline,” the association said in a statement.

According to IATA, August passenger demand continued to be hugely depressed against normal levels, with revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs) down 75.3 per cent compared to August 2019.

“This was only slightly improved compared to the 79.5 per cent annual contraction in July. Domestic markets continued to outperform international markets in terms of recovery, although most remained substantially down on a year ago,” the statement said.

“August capacity (available seat kilometres or ASKs) was down 63.8 per cent, compared to a year ago, and load factor plunged 27.2 points to an all-time low for August of 58.5 per cent. Based on flight data, the recovery in air passenger services was brought to a halt in mid-August by a return of government restrictions in the face of new COVID-19 outbreaks in a number of key markets.”

As per the data furnished by IATA, India’s domestic air passenger traffic de-grew by 73.6 per cent on a year-on-year basis.

The de-growth in India’s domestic air passenger volume — measured in revenue passenger kilometres — was the second highest amongst major aviation markets such as Australia, Brazil, China, Japan, Russia and the US.

The country’s domestic available passenger capacity – measured in ASKs – declined 66 per cent on a YoY basis.

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