IATA: Initial impact of pandemic over three times larger than 9/11

    IATA reported (10-Sep-2021) the following comparisons between the impact of the 11-Sep-2001 terrorist attacks on US domestic travel demand and the current COVID-19 crisis:

    • The initial impact of the COVID pandemic was over three times larger than that of 9/11, with seasonally adjusted (SA) monthly RPKs falling by 95% during the first lockdown period in 2020.  As of Jul-2021, SA monthly RPKs reached 87% of pre pandemic levels and US passenger airlines lost USD35.1 billion in 2020. Several airlines have started to report positive cash flow in 2Q2021;
    • SA RPKs declined by 30% month-on-month following the attacks as many travellers were hesitant to travel by air and businesses put
      temporary freezes on non essential travel;
    • US domestic RPKs had been growing at 3.9% on average p/a prior to 9/11. Although US domestic traffic started to rebound in a few months following the shock, SA RPKs had not returned to the trend prior to 9/11. As a result of this unexpected loss in demand, US passenger airlines posted a USD8 billion net loss in 2001. [more – original PR]
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