Safety Science Journal Article
Estimating and projecting air passenger traffic during the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak and its socio-economic impact
Posted on 21st of July 2021 by Michele Vespe, Spyridon Spyratos, Fabrizio Natale, Stefano Maria Iacus, Carlos Santamaria
Due to the coronavirus global crisis, most countries have put in place restrictive measures in order to confine the pandemia and contain the number of casualties. Among the restrictive measures, air traffic suspension is certainly quite effective in reducing the mobility on the global scale in the short term but it also has high socio-economic impact on the long and short term. The main focus of this study is to collect and prepare data on air passengers traffic worldwide with the scope of analyze the impact of travel ban on the aviation sector. Based on historical data from January 2010 till October 2019, a forecasting model is implemented in order to set a reference baseline. Making use of airplane movements extracted from online flight tracking platforms and on-line booking systems, this study presents also a first assessment of recent changes in flight activity around the world as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. To study the effects of air travel ban on aviation and in turn its socio-economic, several scenarios are constructed based on past pandemic crisis and the observed flight volumes. It turns out that, according to these hypothetical scenarios, in the first Quarter of 2020 the impact of aviation losses could have negatively reduced World GDP by 0.02% to 0.12% according to the observed data and, in the worst case scenarios, at the end of 2020 the loss could be as high as 1.41–1.67% and job losses may reach the value of 25–30 millions. Focusing on EU27, the GDP loss may amount to 1.66–1.98% by the end of 2020 and the number of job losses from 4.2 to 5 millions in the worst case scenarios. Some countries will be more affected than others in the short run and most European airlines companies will suffer from the travel ban. We hope that these preliminary results may be of help for informed policy making design of exit strategies from this global crisis.