Passenger Traffic in Latin America and Caribbean decreased 17.5% in March

Dear readers,

On this occasion, we present the Traffic Report for March 2020 with an improvement. From now on, the report will include all the airlines operating in the Latin American and Caribbean region and not only the airlines of the region, which gives us an even broader and more precise analysis of the traffic in the region.

As we anticipated, in March it became evident the drop in passenger traffic in the region as a result of the shutdown of airspace in different countries following the official declaration of the pandemic by the WHO. There was a 17.5% reduction of passenger traffic and, for the first time since 2016, a month of decrease was recorded in the region. The first quarter of the year closed with an accumulated decrease of 5.4% in passenger traffic.

The sharpest drop was noted in the intra-Latin American international market with 27% fewer passengers vs. March 2019; and in the last week of the month some markets such as Colombia, Argentina, Panama, Ecuador and Peru operated up to 95% fewer flights vs. the same week in 2019. In the April and May reports we will observe an even more marked decrease in traffic.

The losses for the industry and the economies of the region are still incalculable and are increasing every day. However, air transport remains resilient, providing an essential humanitarian service through repatriation flights and the cargo transport that our countries, citizens and commerce need.

Airlines are making an extraordinary effort to remain viable and survive this unprecedented crisis, but they will not be able to do so on their own. States play a key role in implementing measures that will relieve fixed costs and enhance cash flow, allowing companies in the industry to sustain themselves and recover once the skies open again. Aviation and tourism will backbone in the economic recovery of the countries, so industry organizations are already working on a reactivation plan adjusted to the new reality, where social distancing, the highest health and safety standards, the protection of passengers and staff involved will prevail. We hope as soon as possible to be able to return to the activity and continue providing an essential service to the population.

This is my last editorial as ALTA’s Executive Director & CEO. We are in a difficult time for the industry, but I am convinced that today ALTA is better equipped to support the industry in playing its role as a catalyst for the economic and social development of our region. As announced a few months ago, in June I will begin another journey within the industry. I wish José Ricardo Botelho big success in ALTA and its great team. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for reading and following us month by month. ALTA will continue to report and provide a dedicated service to the aviation industry in the region.

Good reading,
Luis Felipe de Oliveira

Panama, May 13, 2020 – The Latin American and Caribbean Air Transport Association (ALTA) announces that airlines operating the Latin America and Caribbean market carried 31.1 million passengers in March, down 17.5% – or 6,600,845 less passengers – from the previous year. Traffic (RPK) decreased 22.9% and capacity (ASK) decreased 11.7%, bringing the load factor to 71.9%, 10.4 percentage points lower than in 2019. (see table 1).

Traffic to/from Latin America & Caribbean

10.4 million passengers travelled to and from Latin America and the Caribbean in March, a decrease of 23.6% from the previous year (see table 2). Traffic (RPK) decreased 26% and capacity (ASK) declined 13.6%, bringing the load factor to 70.8%.

Domestic Traffic

Latin America and Caribbean airlines carried 17.4 million domestic passengers in March, down 11.1% from the previous year. Traffic (RPK) decreased 9.9% and capacity (ASK) decreased 3.4%, bringing the load factor to 76.2%.

* Most important segments in number of passengers

International Traffic

Airlines operating in Latin America and Caribbean carried 13.7 million international passengers in March, of which 3.3 million were international passengers within the region and 10.4 million outside the region.

* Most important segments in number of passengers

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 (