IATA-International Air Connectivity (2020): China Takes Top Four Places

The global Covid-19 crisis has disrupted IATA’s September 2020 global international connectivity ranking. Governments around the world reacted differently, with China taking the top four places, where there was London, Shanghai, New York and Beijing in September 2019.

A global loss of connectivity is observed at the regional level, according to the World Air Transport Association (IATA), which specifies that the two airports of Shanghai now make the city the most “connected” internationally in September 2020, ahead of those of Beijing, Guangzhou and Chengdu still in China.

China quickly brought the situation under control, putting all security measures in place, and thus places five of its cities among the most connected metropolises.

London, which held first place in September 2019, is 8th at the end of September 2020, notably with a 67% drop in connectivity, according to IATA. New York, with its 3rd place in 2019, is not in the first 10 places, unlike Chicago which climbed to 5th place (10th place in September 2019), ahead of the platforms of Shenzhen and Los Angeles.

• New York (3rd place in 2019) and Shanghai (2nd in 2019) lost their places in the top 10 of September 2020, with -66% connectivity.
• Tokyo, ranked fifth in September 2019, is eliminated from the top ten places, with a decline of -65%.
• Bangkok, ranked seventh in September 2019, is eliminated from the top 10, with a decline of -81%.
• Hong Kong, with its eighth place in 2019, does not appear in the ranking of the top 10, with a decline of -81%.
• Seoul, ranked 9th in 2019, can no longer find a place in the top 10 in 2020, with a decline of -69%.

IATA clarifies that “cities with a large number of national connections now dominate, showing how much international connectivity has been interrupted” … while indicating that this change in results is not due to an improvement in connectivity , but precisely demonstrates the importance of the decline in connectivity which is more or less different in each city. The ranking does not indicate any winners this year, but just cities that are less impacted than others.

The IATA association, which has repeatedly called for the restoration of connectivity to avoid serious financial difficulties, announces the connectivity losses between April 2019 and April 2020, which are estimated at:

• A 93% drop in connectivity for Europe
• A 93% drop in connectivity for Africa
• An 88% drop in connectivity for Middle Eastern countries
• A 73% drop in connectivity for North America: Canada (-85%), the United States (-72%).
• A 91% drop in connectivity for Latin America
• A 76% drop in connectivity for Asia-Pacific

The year 2020 is considered “the worst financial year in the industry”, where the airlines have accumulated heavy losses, estimated at 118.5 billion dollars (99.5 billion euros) by the end. of the year, with also another net loss of $ 38.7 billion expected in 2021, according to the IATA statement.

According to the same press release, the number of passengers expected in 2020 is 1.8 billion (60.5% less than the 4.5 billion passengers in 2019), which is reminiscent of the industry figure in 2003. Passenger revenues are expected to drop to $ 191 billion (less than a third of the $ 612 billion earned in 2019) … “International markets are disproportionately affected, with a 75% drop in demand. domestic markets are somewhat maintained thanks in particular to a recovery in China and Russia ”

Cargo is doing well, with no less than 54.2 million tonnes expected in 2020, compared to 61.3 million tonnes in 2019.

The IATA vice-president in charge of external relations announced that “In a short time we have undone a century of progress in bringing people together and connecting markets”.

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