Iata has branded 2020 a "catastrophic" year for air travel with passenger demand down by almost two-thirds owing to the coronavirus pandemic.
Overall passenger demand slumped 65.9% compared to 2019, which Iata characterised as "by far the sharpest traffic decline in aviation history".
International passenger demand fell more than three-quarters (75.6%), while domestic demand was nearly halved, down 48.8% on 2019.
Iata has 2021 may yet prove even tougher, at least at first, with much of the world under strict Covid lockdown – in many cases stricter than at any point last year.
This has impacted forward air travel bookings significantly, with bookings for future travel made in January down 70% on levels from a year ago.
Traffic in both November and December 2020 was heavily depressed too, down 70.4% and 69.7% respectively.
Iata’s baseline forecast for 2021 air travel demand is for a 50.4% improvement on 2020, which would return the industry to 50.6% of 2019 levels of demand.
However, the association said if tough restrictions were to persist owing to new variants of Covid, 2021 demand could be limited to just a 13% improvement on 2020, leaving the industry more than 60% down on 2019 levels of demand.