The International Air Transport Association said overall passenger demand in October was down 70.6 per cent compared to the same time last year.

This is a slight improvement from the 72.2 per cent decline recorded in September but still “disappointingly slow”.

International traffic remained the biggest laggard worldwide, plunging 87.8 per cent year-on-year, thanks to travel restrictions.

The drop is virtually unchanged from the month prior. Meanwhile, domestic demand was down 40.8 per cent, a marginal improvement from September’s 43 per cent decline.

Alexandre de Juniac, director general and CEO at IATA, said:

“Fresh outbreaks of Covid-19 and governments’ continued reliance on heavy-handed quarantines resulted in another catastrophic month for air travel demand. While the pace of recovery is faster in some regions than others, the overall picture for international travel is grim. 

“This uneven recovery is more pronounced in domestic markets, with China’s domestic market having nearly recovered, while most others remain deeply depressed.”

IATA said China’s domestic traffic was down just 1.4 per cent year-on-year in October. The organisation cited a rebound in the domestic economy and ‘all you can fly’ deals as having helped stimulate demand for air travel.

However, the broader Asia Pacific region saw international passenger traffic fall 95.6 per cent, the greatest decline among all regions.