COVID-19 Weekly Recap: May 7 – May 14

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A weekly recap of facts, stats, official statements and key resources on COVID-19

This article is intended to provide travel professionals and business leaders with an objective perspective on the evolving situation through facts, statistics, official statements and key resources from international regulatory bodies and government ministries. The outbreak is moving quickly, and some of the articles may fall rapidly out of date. We will provide updates on a weekly basis as the outbreak evolves. 

PATA: New government resources available on PATA Crisis Resource Center

With COVID-19 heavily impacting the global travel and tourism industry, the Center is a platform that provides up-to-date information on aid or relief packages available for travel and tourism businesses and organisations, listed per destination. Resources from 65 new destinations have recently been updated on the PATA Crisis Resource Center.

OAG: Week Seventeen looks like we’ve bottomed out! – May 11, 2020

The latest data shows a two percent increase in weekly capacity with some 29.8 million scheduled seats this week representing a small but very important 600,000 more than the previous week with pockets of growth occurring in eight of the seventeen regional markets analysed. Total capacity is now at 29.9 million seats; some 80 million fewer seats than operated in the same week last year which highlights how far the global market has been impacted.

Cirium: Monitoring passenger jet activity through the hibernation phase – updated May 11, 2020

While the in-service fleet has stabilised at approximately 10,300 for the past week, we continue to record positive trends in tracking data. Saturday 9th May saw active passenger jet aircraft up 6%, flight cycles up 14% and hours flown up 14% compared with Saturday 2nd May.

Sojern: Positive momentum in domestic travel in China, Hong Kong, South Korea, and Chinese Taipei – May 11, 2020

While Mainland China outbound travel started declining in December, it has since reached a plateau. Trends show that domestic travel took a sharp drop in mid-January when China imposed a lockdown, but continues to improve since mid-February showing positive upticks. Hong Kong domestic travel was on a decline, but is showing clear signs of recovery since mid-February. South Korean domestic and outbound travel has seen a general decline since mid-December, but we are seeing a slight improvement in April.

IATA: Social distancing would make most airlines financially unviable – May 8, 2020

Depending on the aircraft type and the seat configuration, social distancing could reduce the available seat capacity by 33-50%. For example, with the popular 3-3 seat configuration, social distancing could mean leaving the middle seat empty on both sides of the aisle. In contrast, for turboprop aircraft with a 2-2 seat configuration, it could imply filling only one seat per row on each side of the aisle. If the entire global fleet of aircraft is considered, we estimate that such social distancing would reduce the bookable seat capacity to 62% of normal capacity.

UNWTO: International tourist numbers could fall 60-80% in 2020 – May 7, 2020

Prospects for the year have been downgraded several times since the outbreak and uncertainty continues to dominate. Current scenarios point to possible declines in arrivals of 58% to 78% for the year. These depend on the speed of containment and the duration of travel restrictions and shutdown of borders.

ACI: Ghana’s Kotoka International Airport resumes domestic flights as signs of recovery appear – May 6, 2020

Ghana has become the first African country to resume domestic flights in the wake of COVID-19. The airport has introduced and enforced new measures to prioritize the health and safety of passengers and staff, including temperature checks, the making the wearing of face masks mandatory, physical distancing protocols in the airport and on-board aircraft, and the increased use of sanitizer. 

WEF: Here’s what travelling could be like after COVID-19 – May 6, 2020

“The pandemic is likely to speed up two trends that have been gathering steam for some time. One is seamless travel, where your face and body are your passport. The other is the idea of a decentralized identity. This means the individual is in possession of and controls their identity attributes, such as their date and place of birth and physical characteristics, but also travel history, health information and other data. Combined, these trends will ensure travel is enjoyable, efficient and safe.”

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COVID-19 Weekly Recap: April 30 – May 7