KUALA LUMPUR - The Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) says patchy, uncoordinated measures across countries, including various screening protocols and often onerous quarantine requirements, are deterring passengers from flying, and slowing the process of restarting aviation.
Subhas Menon, AAPA director general, made the comments after figures revealed the extent of the impact of Covid-19 on Asia Pacific passengers numbers in April.
Overall, Asia Pacific airlines saw international passenger numbers plunge 98.8% year-on-year to a combined total of just 368,000 passengers in April compared to the 31.9 million carried in the same month last year.
The average international passenger load factor slumped to a historical low of 28.0% for the month as available seat capacity declined by 94.6%.
"The April traffic numbers underscore the devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on global air travel markets," Mr Menon said. "Uncertainty remains as to how long the crisis will persist. Nevertheless, with infection curves showing signs of flattening, it is hoped that conditions are beginning to bottom out."
Mr Menon added, "The countries in the Asia Pacific region were the first to encounter Covid-19 and are the first to witness some stabilisation and degree of control over the spread of the disease. Hopefully, the region can also lead the much-needed recovery in air travel.”