Passenger Traffic in Latin America and Caribbean decreased 97% in April

Dear readers,

It is an honor to greet you for the first time as ALTA’s Executive Director & CEO in this editorial of the ALTA Traffic Report, a powerful tool for a monthly tracking of the passenger traffic progress in Latin America and the Caribbean.

After a first quarter with a 5.4% accumulated decrease in passenger traffic, in April we reached a 97% drop in passenger traffic in the region, making obvious the strong impact of mobility restrictions due to the COVID-19 health crisis.

Throughout April, fewer passengers traveled in the region in comparison with any given day in April 2019, and to give you an idea of the traffic decrease, it is worth mentioning that the last month in which 1 million passengers traveled in the region was in the 1960s.

Only the Mexican, Chilean and Brazilian markets operated in April and still showed reductions above 90% in passenger traffic. The busiest routes were Mexico City – Cancun carrying 42,300 passengers, Sao Paulo – Rio de Janeiro with 30,419 passengers and Santiago de Chile – Calama with 22,200 passengers. In the international market, Mexico City – Houston with 6,100 passengers, Sao Paulo – Frankfurt with 5,900 passengers and Mexico City – Atlanta with 5,600 passengers.

In the accumulated January to April 2020, we already reached a 30% decrease in passenger traffic, which accounts for losses of 43 million passengers and about 10 billion dollars in revenue for the airlines operating in the region.

The numbers for May will be similar, but for June it is in sight a slightly better scenario with the opening of markets such as Ecuador and Panama. According to the announcements made by the authorities in the region, it is estimated that by September all countries will have their travel restrictions removed.

The recovery will be progressive. We are expecting to be able to operate by December 2020 almost 50% of the originally planned capacity and gradually recover the passenger traffic in the region. According to ICF, only until 2025 we would see 2019 traffic levels.

With the issuance of the recommendation guidance for the restart and recovery of air transport by ICAO, we hope to strengthen the articulated and collaborative work between industry and government and get it translated into the expeditious establishment of safe, efficient and, especially, globally consistent mechanisms to begin operating again.

The industry is prepared to operate under the strictest health and safety protocols, protecting passengers, collaborators and citizens while providing aviation as an essential service for the population and for economies around the world.

We have a great opportunity ahead of us to work in a coordinated manner to adapt air transport to the new normal that is just beginning.

Best regards,
José Ricardo Botelho

Panama, June 9, 2020 – The Latin American and Caribbean Air Transport Association (ALTA) announced today that airlines operating the Latin America and Caribbean market carried 1.08 million passengers in April, down 97% – or -34,223,477 fewer passengers – from the previous year. Traffic (RPK) decreased 97.1% and capacity (ASK) decreased 96%, bringing the load factor to 59.6%, 23.7 percentage points lower than in 2019. (see table 1).

Traffic to/from Latin America & Caribbean

157,584 passengers travelled to and from Latin America and the Caribbean in April, down 98.7% from the previous year (see table 2). Traffic (RPK) decreased 97.5% and capacity (ASK) decreased 96%, bringing the load factor to 61.5%.

Traffic data from the following airlines is included in this report: Aeroflot Russian Airlines, Aerolineas Argentinas, Aeromexico, Air Antilles, Air Belgium, Air Canada, Air Caraibes, Air Century, Air China, Air Europa, Air France, Air New Zealand, Air Panama, Air Sunshine, Air Tahiti Nui, Air Transat A.T.Inc., Alaska Airlines, Albatros Airlines, Alitalia – Societa Aerea Italiana S.p.A, All Nippon Airways, Allegiant Air LLC, Amaszonas, American Airlines, Anguilla Air Services, Aruba Airlines, Avianca, AVIOR Airlines, Aztec Airways, Azul Airlines, AZUR air, Bahamasair, Blue Panorama Airlines, Boliviana de Aviacion – BoA, British Airways, Caicos Express Airways, Cape Air, Caribbean Airlines, Cayman Airways, CM Airlines, Condor Flugdienst, Conviasa, Copa Airlines, Corendon DUTCH Airlines, Corsair, Cubana de Aviacion S.A, Delta Air Lines, Divi Divi Air, Eastern Airlines, LLC, Edelweiss Air, Elite Airways, Emirates, Estelar Latinoamerica C.A., Ethiopian Airlines, Eurowings, Evelop Airlines S.L., EZAir, Finnair, FlexFlight ApS, Fly Always N.V., Flybondi, FlyMontserrat, Frontier Airlines Inc., GOL Linhas Aereas S.A., Gum Air, IBC Airways, Iberia, Intercaribbean Airways Ltd, Interjet, JetAir Caribbean, JetBlue Airways Corporation, Jetsmart, KLM-Royal Dutch Airlines, LASER Airlines, LATAM Airlines Group, LIAT (1974), LOT – Polish Airlines, Lufthansa German Airlines, Neos Air, Nord Wind, Norwegian Air UK ltd, One Caribbean Ltd, Orbest, Paranair, Plus Ultra Lineas Aereas S. A., Qantas Airways, Qatar Airways, RAVSA Venezolana, RUTACA, Saint Barth Commuter, SANSA Airlines, Seaborne Airlines, SILVER AIRWAYS LLC, Sky Airline, Skyway CR, South African Airways, Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines, Sun Country Airlines, Sunrise Airways, Sunwing Airlines Inc., Surinam Airways, SWISS, Swoop, TAAG Angola Airlines, TACV Cabo Verde Airlines, TAG Airlines (T A Guatemaltecos), TAME Linea Aerea del Ecuador, TAP Air Portugal, Thomas Cook Scandinavia, Tradewind Aviation, Trans Guyana Airways, Transportes Aeromar S.A. De C.V., Tropic Air, TUI Airways, Turkish Airlines, Turpial Airlines, United Airlines, VI Airlink, Virgin Atlantic Airways, Viva Air, Vivaaerobus, Volaris, Wamos Air S.A., Westjet, Windward Island Airways International, Wings Air

RPK (Revenue Passenger Kilometers) number of passengers carried times the distance traveled | ASK (Available Seat Kilometers) number of seats available for sale times the distance traveled | PLF Passenger Load Factor, obtained by dividing the RPKs by the ASKs | FTK (Freight Ton Kilometers) number of tons of freight carried times the distance traveled.

About ALTA
ALTA is a private non-profit association at the service of the air transport industry, whose objective is to develop a safer, more efficient and sustainable aviation in Latin America and the Caribbean. ALTA coordinates collaborative efforts across the entire value chain maximizing the impact of aviation in the region’s economic and social growth for the benefit of the industry, the nations and the people served by the air transport. 
Follow ALTA News on Twitter at @ALTA_aero and on LinkedIn
 Contact: Nicole Lorca ( & Juan Sarmiento (