The International Air Transport Association has released its initial assessment of the impact of the COVID-19 and finds that passenger demand for carriers in the Asia-Pacific region could fall by as much as 13 per cent.
Considering that growth for the region’s airlines was forecast to be 4.8 per cent, the net impact will be an 8.2 per cent full-year contraction compared to 2019 demand levels.
In this scenario, that would translate into a $27.8 billion revenue loss in 2020 for carriers in the Asia-Pacific region – the bulk of which would be borne by carriers registered in China.
The forecast suggests $12.8 billion would be lost in the China domestic market alone.
In the same scenario, carriers outside Asia-Pacific are forecast to bear a revenue loss of $1.5 billion, assuming the loss of demand is limited to markets linked to China.
This would bring total global lost revenue to $29.3 billion (five per cent lower passenger revenues compared to what IATA forecast in December) and represent a 4.7 per cent hit to global demand.
In December, IATA forecast global RPK growth of 4.1 per cent, so this loss would more than eliminate expected growth this year, resulting in a 0.6 per cent global contraction in passenger demand for 2020.