Looking at recent yearend data from OAG, a leading global travel data provider, it’s clear to see how impacted global travel was last year. A quick observation shows that airports which were allowed to stay open with less restrictions like those in the US, fared better than the traditionally busy international travel hubs.
Asian airpots were particularly impacted in 2021.
According to OAG, these charts show, “how each hub is connected to every part of the world and how that has changed over time.” The charts compare an international airport’s position in November 2019, November 2020 and November 2021.
In this case Amsterdam and Atlanta both had good recoveries in 2021 versus 2020.
But we can see how Bangkok severely lagged Paris. Thailand was essentially closed to international travel until November whereas France stayed opened as much as it could.
Likewise Frankfurt and Hong Kong had similar experiences where Frankfurt was allowed to reconnect routes while Hong Kong was not.
In the case of JFK versus Kuala Lumpur, the airports in New York functioned normally throughout most of the year while Malaysia stayed closed. As well, JFK had a large regional audience.
And finally Singapore versus Toronto again highlights the importance of a large domestic market and the ability to reconnect regional and then international routes.
The industry hopes omicron will subside quickly and global travel will resume. But if the last two years have taught us anything, it’s that the new normal may be vastly different than the old normal. Simply put, no matter what happens, 2022 is not going to be like 2019. It’ll be distinct in its own ways. We remain optimistic.