Shanghai replaces London as world's largest travel hub: IATA

Source: Global Times Published: 2020/11/28 3:16:43

Airport Illustration: VCG

The coronavirus pandemic has reshuffled the international air travel market, and Shanghai has replaced London as the world's largest hub, the latest report released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) showed. 

Shanghai is now the top-ranked city for connectivity with the top four most connected cities all in China – Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and Chengdu. 

The report said London, the world’s number one most-connected city in September 2019, has seen a 67 percent decline in connectivity. By September 2020, it had fallen to number eight. The report also said New York (-66 percent fall in connectivity), Tokyo (-65 percent), Bangkok (-81 percent), Hong Kong (-81 percent) and Seoul (-69 percent) have all exited the top ten.  

The study reveals that cities with large numbers of domestic connections now dominate, showing the extent to which international connectivity has been shut down, and the COVID-19 crisis has had a devastating impact on international connectivity,

"The rankings shifted because the scale of the decline was greater for some cities than others. There are no winners, just some players that suffered fewer injuries,” said Sebastian Mikosz, IATA’s senior vice president for member external relations. 

The report said Asia-Pacific saw a 76 percent decline in connectivity. Stronger domestic aviation markets, such as China, Japan and South Korea performed better among the most connected countries in the region. Despite the relatively large domestic aviation market, Thailand was severely impacted perhaps because of the country’s high reliance on international tourism. 

Last month, London Heathrow Airport was replaced by Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport for the first time as the busiest airport in Europe. 

IATA said in an earlier report that the Chinese domestic aviation market will return to profitability by the end of 2020 as domestic market demand grows. China is leading the recovery of world aviation with large domestic demand that will allow carriers to register profits, according to the association. 


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