Airlines Global travel restrictions stable but EU continues to show a rising trend....

Travel restrictions remain a material hurdle to the pace of recovery for the broad travel sector. UBS Evidence Lab data shows that global travel restrictions still remain elevated and are showing no signs of lifting.

15 Sep 2020

Source: UBS Evidence Lab, the Internation Organization for Migration (IOM); > Access Dataset

This chart shows the G20 countries ranked by number of travel restrictions on 1st September (Departing from)

86% of global routes have travel restrictions ....

UBS Evidence Lab continue to analyse travel restrictions for 247 countries/regions and over 60,000 travel routes across six different types of restrictions. Travel restrictions remain high at around 86% of routes (c61k routes examined). While some countries and regions have relaxed travel restrictions others have increased restrictions. However, overall the proportion of worldwide restrictions is broadly stable to 1st September on our last survey note (24th August was comparative) at 86% (previous 85%) of routes restricted in some manner.

But travel restrictions on the rise in the G20....

For the G20, the level of travel restrictions are greater than worldwide restrictions with around 95% (same as previous levels of 95% on 24th August) of routes currently restricted (compares to less than 10% being restricted at the beginning of March). However, the mix has evolved at the country level

EU restrictions continue to be on the rise...

EU travel restrictions have gone from 46% on 10th August, to 56% on the 24th of August and 63% on 1st September. Furthermore, it is likely that we will see further upward pressure on restrictions since the 1st September given announcements. It is likely due to this that investor sentiment towards the sector remains cautious in our view.

Travel restrictions making it difficult for airlines to plan winter schedules

Our recent Transport conference saw a number of airlines and airports saying visibility remains low. We see a number of reasons for this namely

  1. Airlines do not have adequate visibility of demand evolution especially on business travel front
  2. The booking window has compressed into predominantly a two week window
  3. Airlines are unsure what the future will bring in terms of additional travel restrictions
  4. A lack of clarity from government.

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