Jamaica earns $5.7 billion since June 2020 reopening

Air travel well into recovery mode, according to IATA’s new stats

GENEVA — Air travel is well into recovery mode, according to the latest stats from IATA.

In the two weeks between Jan. 25 – Feb. 8, 2022 there was an 11 percentage point increase for international tickets sold, compared to 2019 sales. It’s the fastest increase of its kind for any two-week period since the crisis began.

IATA notes that the increase in ticket sales comes as more governments announce a relaxation of COVID-19 border restrictions.

Here’s IATA’s overview of travel restrictions for the world’s top 50 air travel markets, accounting for 92% of global demand …

  • 18 markets (comprising about 20% 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% of 2019 demand.
  • 37 markets (comprising about 60% of 2019 demand) are open to vaccinated travellers under varying conditions (18 having no restrictions, others requiring testing or quarantine or both).

Says Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General: “Momentum toward normalizing traffic is growing. Vaccinated travelers 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!”

Adds Walsh: “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 travellers. That includes major economies like China, Japan, Russia, Indonesia, and Italy.”

IATA continues to call for …

  • Removing all travel barriers (including quarantine and testing) for those fully vaccinated with a WHO-approved vaccine,
  • Enabling quarantine-free travel for non-vaccinated travellers with a negative pre-departure antigen test result,
  • Removing travel bans, and,
  • Accelerating the easing of travel restrictions in recognition that travellers pose no greater risk for COVID-19 spread than already exists in the general population.

Says Walsh: “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.”

The list of countries easing travel measures now includes Canada. On Feb. 15 the federal government has announced ramped-down travel measures taking effect Feb. 28, 2022. Other countries recently easing restrictions or reopening include Australia, France, the Philippines, the UK and Switzerland.