July 2021 IATA Air Passenger Market Analysis 
Published September 1, 2021.  

Air travel rebounded in July, but risks are rising


July data for Africa will be available in the August traffic updates.

  • Rebound in global air travel continued for another month supported by willingness to travel during the northern hemisphere summer. Industry-wide revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs) fell by 53.1% in July 2021 vs. July 2019 compared with a 60.0% contraction in June. In month-on-month terms, RPKs picked up by a robust 8.0%.
  • Amongst key domestic markets, Russia posted the best outcome for another month, supported by booming domestic tourism. On the other hand, recovery reverted in Australia amidst new travel restrictions imposed to fight new COVID wave. International traffic improved slightly across all regions, but it remained well below 2019 levels.
  • Bookings for August travel have been falling. The weakness has been largely driven by China domestic market where the latest COVID outbreak resulted in a shutdown of many important routes.

Global passenger demand improves

Gradual recovery in international air travel continued in July. Despite the positive RPK developments observed in July, the uncertainty about air travel recovery is rising sharply due to the fast spread of the Delta variant around the world. At the global level, the number of confirmed COVID infections per week reached approximately 4.5 million in mid-August – nearly double the amount compared with mid-June.

Demand picked up across all regions in July

Global air travel recovery improved in July, supported by vaccine rollout and appetite for travel during the traditionally busy northern hemisphere summer. Industry-wide revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs) fell by 53.1% compared with pre-crisis July 2019 – a robust improvement on a 60.0% fall in June. In monthon-month terms, RPKs picked up by 8.0% – the fastest growth since November 2020. All regions that we tracked this month contributed to the uptick, most significantly Europe...Download the full document here.