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International Air Travel 63% Lower vs Pre-Pandemic Numbers

According to new data from IATA, a global airline industry body, global air travel was 63% lower in May of 2021 than it was two years ago before the pandemic changed everything, in May 2019. While international travel isn’t completely cut off for some countries, most countries have many restrictions that bar regular passengers from traveling internationally. Because of these restrictions, international travel has greatly suffered, even as many people worldwide are becoming fully vaccinated.

The IATA director general Willie Walsh believes that international air travel may not suffer as much if governments would coordinate a bit better between themselves. Many different airlines are offering different requirements and testings, so this has left consumers and potential travelers very confused as to what needs to be done. Walsh believes that a set guideline for many countries would greatly help the airline industry.

The airline industry is a huge industry that provides many countries with many jobs. To keep many countries’ economies okay, it’s always vital to ensure the traveling industries are also functioning well.

While this is known by all governments, it doesn’t appear that any of the international travel restrictions are going to go away any time soon. Just as this latest report was published by the IATA, a group of 24 organizations urged the United States government to lift many of the travel restrictions put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of these restrictions ban many international travelers from coming to the United States.

This coalition, led by the U.S. Travel Association, represented many industries within the travel industry. Airlines, airports, airplane manufacturers, hotels, and casinos were all represented in this coalition. They urged the White House to ease many of the international air and land travel restrictions by July 15. The coalition also had the support of 75 members of the House of Representatives.

While travel industries are urging for the end or relaxation of these travel restrictions, it doesn’t seem that this will happen any time soon. Even travel industry officials don’t believe the U.S. government will waive any restrictions until after the busy summer travel season.

Even though many Americans are fully vaccinated — or are becoming fully vaccinated — the government still wants to keep the COVID-19 infection rate low. According to many sources, the CDC has also been worried about the new Delta variant that has spread internationally and in parts of the U.S. If vaccinated people can still get this Delta variant (studies vary on whether this is the case or not), then international travel may still be restricted for many months to come.

For now, it does appear as if many travel industry officials and those a part of the government are looking to ease the land travel restrictions between Canada and the United States. The coalition and some House Representatives would like restrictions eased specifically for non-essential travelers in Canada and the U.S. However, there is no word on whether this will happen, and it doesn’t appear as if the government has any plans to change any international restrictions in the near future.


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