EU loses over 96 pct air travelers in Q2 y-o-y

People buy bakerys to take away outside the closed Ritz palace, on August 6, 2020 in Paris, amid the crisis linked with the Covid-19 pandemic caused by the novel coronavirus. (Photo: AFP)

BRUSSELS, Oct. 15 (Xinhua) -- The number of people travelling by air in the European Union (EU) decreased dramatically in the second quarter of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019, Eurostat said in a report on Thursday.

Due to the COVID-19 containment measures that discourage travelling, the decline ranged from 96 percent to 99 percent among 19 EU member states with available data, according to the EU's statistical office.

In the report, data were not available for Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Greece, Malta, Poland, Romania and Sweden in the 27 EU members.

Spain appeared to be the hardest hit, with 61.6 million, or 99 percent less air passengers from April to July 2020 compared with the same period in 2019.

Germany registered a loss of 59.1 million air passengers, or a decrease of 97 percent year on year in the second trimester of 2020; There were 44.2 million less people travelling by air from and to France, or 97 percent less, in the second quarter of 2020; Italy witnessed a decrease of 42.6 million air passengers, or 98 percent, for the second quarter of 2020 compared to the same period last year.

The report also provided the statistics of North Macedonia, a country currently negotiating its accession to the EU, with a registered loss of air passengers by 100 percent for the second trimester of 2020.

While domestic air traffic demand worldwide started to improve at the end of the second quarter, with China's carriers leading the recovery, international passenger markets remained stagnant, according to International Air Transport Association (IATA).

The world's international traffic shrank by 96.8 percent in June, compared to June 2019, only slightly improved over a 98.3 percent decline in May, year-over-year. European carriers saw demand topple 96.7 percent in June versus a year ago, compared to a 98.7 percent decline in May, said IATA.