Aviation in Latin America and the Caribbean one step away from leaving the pandemic crisis behind

ACI Latin America-Caribbean and Cirium deliver a valuable monthly report that the travel and tourism industry can use to have detailed information on the level of activity. In the edition published a few hours ago, it is detailed that in January 2022 the total scheduled seats have been 32,086,707, the volume of seats compared to 2019 has been 84.33%, the daily average of seats was 1,035,055, with a delay average flight time of 30.67 minutes.

The total of domestic seats has been 21,606,468, the total of international seats was 10,480,239 with 1,827 aircraft in service, while another 434 remain on the ground without flying.

The report also reveals the situation globally. The total scheduled seats have been 306,144,828, the volume of seats compared to 2019 was 69.82% with a daily average of 9,875,640 seats and an average flight delay of 33.76 minutes.

In the breakdown of these figures, the report reveals that, globally, the total number of domestic seats was 
215,309,392, the total number of international seats was 90,835,436 with a total of 24,803 aircraft in service and another 6,998 on the ground. without flying

Making the future
The forecast for global seats for February is 315,613,985 and for March 391,350,027
The forecast for seats in Latin America and the Caribbean for February is 29,058,226 and for March 34,281,522.

Obviously, the gradual recovery of commercial aviation depends on the restrictions that the states have been removing.

It is worth remembering that at the end of January the International Council of Airports of Latin America and the Caribbean (ACI-LAC) had recommended that governments avoid reintroducing restrictive measures on air travel so as not to jeopardize the recovery of the aviation industry. and tourism.

In 2021, the important advance in vaccination was accompanied by the elimination of many of the restrictive measures on air travel in all the countries of our region, which translated into a progressive improvement in the recovery of air traffic. While in January 2021 the traffic in Latin American airports represented 45% of the same month of 2019. In November it recovered to 73%.

However, the appearance of the Omicron variant in recent weeks has shown that nothing should be taken for granted and that our path to recovery remains fragile. But the extent to which we need to revise our expectations will depend primarily on whether or not governments take knee-jerk reactions. Omicron is fast becoming the dominant variant in most countries and, according to the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), travel restrictions are ineffective from a public health point of view and very harmful both economically and socially.

A study by Oxera and Edge Health into the impact of travel restrictions on the spread of variants in the UK has shown that travel restrictions are ineffective in preventing the spread of a new variant; they can only slow it down a bit. Similarly, this study shows that additional testing requirements put in place by the UK government had no effect in preventing the spread of Omicron, and concluded that once a variant is present in a territory, travel restrictions they do not serve to reduce its transmission.

Countries should continue to apply an evidence-based and risk-based approach when implementing travel measures. Furthermore, the World Health Organization (WHO) does not support reinstating the travel ban. General travel restrictions will not prevent international spread and will place a heavy burden on lives and livelihoods. In addition, all countries must ensure that the measures are periodically reviewed and updated as new evidence on the epidemiological and clinical characteristics of Omicron or any other variant becomes available.

According to Dr. Rafael Echevarne, General Director of ACI-LAC, “air transport has proven to be a safe environment since Latin American airports have been very responsible in implementing all the measures recommended by international organizations to prevent contagion. The best way to combat COVID-19, including all its variants, is through vaccination of the population, the proper use of masks, and cleaning protocols. Air transport is essential for the economic and social development of our countries; We cannot jeopardize all the important recovery work we have done over the past year.”

Sourse: Travel 2 LATAM

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