The Latin American and Caribbean Air Transport Association (Alta) reported that airlines operating in the region carried 6.35 million passengers in August, the highest volume of travelers since the beginning of air transport tax restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic in March. From January to August, 118.7 million passengers were transported, 59.5% less than in the same period in 2019.
Although the volume of passengers transported in August decreased concerning the previous year (-82.7%), the data point to a recovery trend-driven, mainly, by domestic traffic, according to Alta’s executive director and CEO, José Roberto Botelho. “Domestic traffic in the region represents 83% of the total, with Brazil and Mexico’s markets showing some recovery at 2019 levels. This marks a clear trend of recovery in the two important markets in the region which, although still far from the levels of 2019, jug a smaller drop month by month “, he said.
The volume of international traffic remains stagnant and falls by 90% compared to 2019 since international travelers’ restrictions were still in force in August. However, the expectation is that there will be an improvement in September with the opening of markets such as Colombia, Costa Rica, and El Salvador. “To achieve a faster increase in passenger traffic in the region, it is essential that governments remove restrictions on travel between countries,” says Botelho.