The Americas sales and marketing team hosted a webinar on March 4 in which it shared its post-pandemic vision for the region. Vice President Mark Neely and Airline Strategy Director Vagner Ricardo presented some sobering traffic statistics and identified trends that will define future demand for air travel in North, Central, and South America.
The 60% Revenue Passenger Kilometers – RPK decline (2020 vs. 2019) for the Americas was similar to the world average. Carriers deployed smaller-gauge aircraft to accommodate fewer travelers and to preserve networks.
Before the pandemic, connectivity across Latin America wasn’t well developed. Almost half of all intra-Latin America markets had less than one daily frequency. Even then, small narrow-body jets were needed to serve low and mid-density markets. This need will only be greater in the post-pandemic environment.
Embraer predicts large domestic markets will lead the recovery, increasing demand for right-sized aircraft. Remaining traffic levels will only return to pre-pandemic levels by 2023 or 2024. Until then, carriers will need to preserve cash and control capacity. Network connectivity, long the mainstay of the domestic U.S. market, will be essential for all carriers in The Americas.
The webinar highlighted some emerging trends including changes in passenger preferences and how travelers will “flow” across an airline network in the future. Those changes will affect aircraft size which, according to Vagner, will put a new focus on the sub 150-seat segment. Over the next decade, some 1,600 airplanes in that category are forecast to be delivered to airlines in North America and 500 to airlines in Latin America.
Watch the webinar: