The International Air Transport Association (IATA) says new data shows “a growing momentum in the recovery of air travel” as restrictions continue to lift around the world.
The association said there had been a jump in ticket sales in recent weeks, with an 11-percentage point increase in international tickets sold between January 25 and February 8, compared to the same period in 2019.
IATA said that this represented the fastest increase in sales for any two-week period since the start of the Covid-19 crisis.
The association said that a survey of travel restrictions for the world’s top 50 air travel markets – which accounted for 92 per cent of global demand in 2019 – showed that:
- 18 markets (comprising about 20 per cent of 2019 demand) are open to vaccinated travellers without quarantine or pre-departure testing requirements
- 28 markets are open to vaccinated travellers without quarantine requirements (including the 18 markets noted above). This comprises about 50 per cent of 2019 demand
- 37 markets (comprising about 60 per cent of 2019 demand) are open to vaccinated travellers under varying conditions (18 having no restrictions, others requiring testing or quarantine or both)
The UK is among a growing list countries to remove travel restrictions, with arrivals testing having been scrapped for fully vaccinated travellers from February 11.
Commenting on the news IATA’s director general Willie Waslh said:
“Momentum toward normalizing traffic is growing. Vaccinated travellers have the potential to travel much more extensively with fewer hassles than even a few weeks ago. This is giving growing numbers of travellers the confidence to buy tickets. And that is good news!
“Now we need to further accelerate the removal of travel restrictions. While recent progress is impressive, the world remains far from 2019 levels of connectivity. Thirteen of the top 50 travel markets still do not provide easy access to all vaccinated travelers. That includes major economies like China, Japan, Russia, Indonesia, and Italy.
“Travel restrictions have had a severe impact on people and on economies. They have not, however, stopped the spread of the virus. And it is time for their removal as we learn to live and travel in a world that will have risks of Covid-19 for the foreseeable future.
“This means putting a stop to the singling out of the traveling population for special measures. In nearly all cases, travellers don’t bring any more risk to a market than is already there. Many governments have recognized this already and removed restrictions. Many more need to follow.”