ICAO reports 2020 passenger totals drop 60%

World passenger traffic evolution 1945 – 2020

2020 passenger traffic and revenues, by region

With its latest economic impact analysis of COVID-19 now completed, the UN agency for civil aviation has confirmed that international passenger traffic suffered a dramatic 60% drop over 2020, bringing air travel totals back to 2003 levels. This was announced from ICAO HQ in Montréal on 15 January 2021.

ICAO reports that as seat capacity fell by 50% last year, passenger totals dropped by 60% with just 1.8 billion passengers taking to the air during the first year of the pandemic, compared to 4.5 billion in 2019.

Its numbers also point to airline financial losses of $370 billion resulting from the COVID-19 impacts, with airports and air navigation services providers (ANSPs) losing a further $115 billion and $13 billion, respectively.