The Conference Board of Canada’s Outbound Canada reports that outbound service on Canadian carriers has now been reduced by 3.5 million direct seats throughout the first half of 2020.
Almost all of this decline is taking place in Q2. And although minor increases are currently being reported for June, massive declines have occurred in April and May.
So far, Canadian carriers have decreased service by 94.2% in April and by 54.9% in May for a total loss of 3.3 million seats compared to 2019.
Further worsening the overall impact is the cancellation of flights operated by airlines in other countries.
As of April 6, reporting indicates that capacity on routes serviced by other carriers has been reduced by more than 1.1 million seats (down 49.1%) throughout April and May.
Outbound Canada says that early indicators of travel volumes for March show that prior to the border closures, the number of outbound Canadians was tracking similar to, or higher than, the same period in 2019.
However, this trend changed drastically during the second half of the month. While the data is not reflective of all ports of re-entry, U.S. land crossings by Canadians fell 44.8% compared to March 2019.
At the same time, U.S. air activity fell 10.5% and non-U.S. air travel declined 27.8%.
In late March, the Canadian consumer confidence index fell to its lowest rating ever.
The latest national economic forecasts suggest that travel activity will not see a return to normal levels for many months.
Even though 40% of Canadian travellers surveyed in the middle of March reported that their recent/upcoming travel plans had not been impacted by the outbreak, this proportion will undoubtedly decrease as the crisis continues.
The Conference Board of Canada’s annual summer travel intentions survey, currently in the field, will offer additional evidence of the pandemic’s impact and the short-term outlook.