March 2021 IATA Air Passenger Market Analysis 
Published May 4, 2021.  

Improvement in domestic air travel


Highlights

  • Passenger traffic improved in March but remained significantly below pre-COVID levels. Industry-wide revenue passenger-kilometers (RPKs) were 67.2% lower compared to the pre-crisis level (March 2019).
  • The recovery was driven by the rebound in domestic travel (down 32.3% vs March 2019), particularly in China. On the other hand, international travel was subdued (down 87.8% vs March 2019) due to strict travel restrictions.
  • Bookings in April point to a stabilization in domestic recovery amid resurging pandemic and uneven pace of vaccine rollout. Nevertheless, the strength of global economic recovery and early bookings for May-July period raise some hope for future travel demand.

African airlines remain best performers for 6th consecutive month
Though international markets remained weak in March, Africa was the best performing region for the sixth consecutive month since travel restrinctions are less strict and COVID-19 cases are stable in the region.


Rebound in air travel in March…

Air travel demand improved in March with the support of the rebound in domestic travel. In March 2021, industry-wide revenue passenger-kilometers (RPKs) were 67.2% lower compared to the pre-crisis level (March 2019). Although this is a weak outcome, it is still a progress compared to the previous month since the same metric had fallen by 74.9% in February. Seasonally adjusted (SA) RPKs showed slight progress compared to the prior month, as well...Download the full document here.