Air Travel Demand Recovery In 2021 Proving Elusive

The air travel demand recovery that airlines, airports and tourism organizations were hoping to see emerge this year, albeit slowly, is so far proving elusive. 

Upticks did occur last summer and around some holidays, but they have not been sustainable and, if anything, have reversed.


The main reason 2021 kicked off so badly is twofold: new variants of the COVID-19 coronavirus are adding new fears and persuading individuals and corporations to further postpone travel. Governments, meanwhile, are reacting to the emergence of new virus variants with extreme caution. Border closures are often their default action. So even those people who might be inclined to travel cannot, either because quarantine/testing mandates are too oppressive and expensive or because government rules prohibit their travel.

This is sending shudders through an industry already coming to terms with how hard 2021 is going to be.