Hwaseong, South Korea – Asia-Pacific countries have almost entirely missed out on the global recovery of air travel, with flights still down more than 90 percent compared with pre-pandemic levels, new figures show.
The region is the only part of the world to see practically no improvement in air travel during the past year, with traffic up just 0.3 percentage point in October compared to September.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released the figures on Thursday as it warned that a raft of travel bans to halt the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant threatened to derail the fragile recovery of global aviation.
Travel in the Asia-Pacific was down 92.8 percent in October 2021 compared to October 2019 — almost unchanged from the 93.1 percent decline recorded for September 2021 compared to two years previously, according to the trade organisation.
By comparison, Middle Eastern airlines saw demand rise by almost 7…