The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has announced passenger demand performance for June showing a very slight improvement in both international and domestic air travel markets.

Demand, however, remains significantly below pre-Covid-19 levels owing to international travel restrictions.

Total demand for air travel in June 2021 (measured in revenue passenger kilometres or RPKs) was down 60 per cent compared to June 2019.

That was a small improvement over the 63 per cent decline recorded in May this year versus May 2019.

International passenger demand in June was 81 per cent below June 2019, an improvement from the 85 per cent decline recorded in May versus two years ago.

All regions with the exception of Asia-Pacific contributed to the slightly higher demand.

Total domestic demand was down 22 per cent versus pre-crisis levels (June 2019), a slight gain over the 24 per cent decline recorded in May 2021 versus the 2019 period.

The performance across key domestic markets was mixed with Russia reporting robust expansion while China returned to negative territory.

“We are seeing movement in the right direction, particularly in some key domestic markets.

“But the situation for international travel is nowhere near where we need to be.

“June should be the start of peak season, but airlines were carrying just 20 per cent of 2019 levels.

“That’s not a recovery, it’s a continuing crisis caused by government inaction,” said Willie Walsh, IATA director general.