As reported on:
Press Release, 18 February 2020
B1S traffic scenario module reveals Coronavirus impact on global air traffic
Swiss research agency m1nd-set has developed a unique new module in its Business 1ntelligence Service (B1S) traffic analysis tool to help assess the impact of the Coronavirus outbreak on global air traffic. Widespread uncertainty among travel retail industry stakeholders, including many concerned m1nd-set clients, prompted the agency to develop the module so B1S subscribers can themselves input any combination of scenarios to assess how their business may be affected by the temporary route and border closures introduced to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
The impact beyond Wuhan
As reported recently, m1nd-set published a list of the destinations most likely to impacted by traffic restrictions from Wuhan. As the virus has spread to other regions since this initial report, the new module enables B1S users to assess the full impact, from any Chinese airport and to any destination. The module allows for various severity scenarios: mild, moderate and severe, with varying degrees in the percentage decline of traffic demand to and from China, as well as demand around Asia and in the rest of the world over the months of February, March and April. This can be assessed both for domestic and international, separately or combined.
To demonstrate the analysis, m1nd-set has created three different models as samples of possible scenarios, where specific airlines, airports, routes and borders have been restricted to, from or within China. Looking at the impact on international departures alone, global air traffic would see a 6.8% decline in the ‘mild’ scenario, a 9.3% drop in traffic in the ‘moderate’ scenario and a 15% decline in the ‘severe’ scenario. The impact by region in the mild scenario shows a potential 18% decline in international departures within the Asia Pacific region, a 3.4% decline in the Middle East and Africa, -2.1% in the Amercias and -1.6% in Europe. The same parametres in the moderate scenario, show a 23.2% drop in Asia Pacific, -5.4% in the Middle East and Africa, -3.5% in the Americas and a 2.9% decline in Europe. In the severe model, the potential traffic declines are shown to be -37.6%, -9.7%, -5.3% and -4.4% for each region respectively.
Airport specific analysis
In all scenarios, the impact of the traffic restrictions on individual airports can be identified. Focusing on the severe scenario, in Europe, Helsinki and Moscow’s airports will see the largest percentage declines while London Heathrow, Paris Charles de Gaulle, Frankfurt, Amsterdam and Istanbul would see the largest drop in passenger numbers. In Asia Pacific, Macau, Bali, and Hong Kong would see the largest percentage drops in traffic while in actual numbers, Hong Kong, Seoul, Singapore, Bangkok and Taipei would be the most affected. In the Americas, Guam, Honolulu and San Francisco see the largest percentage declines, while Los Angeles, San Francisco, Toronto, New York (JFK) and Vancouver, would suffer the largest falls in passenger numbers. In the Middle East and Africa, Dammam, Sharjah and Jeddah would see the highest percentage declines, while Dubai, Doha, Jeddah, Abu Dhabi and Muscat would see the highest overall drop in passenger numbers.
m1nd-set’s CEO and owner Peter Mohn explained: “Since the outbreak hit the news, we have received a significant number of requests from companies in the industry, seeking to understand the full picture on how traffic numbers will change as a result of the traffic restrictions. We see a circa 10% drop in bookings to certain destinations, which comes as no surprise, but this does not give a holistic overview of the short or long-term impact, whether real or potential. We have developed this tool to enable our partners to accurately monitor the impact of the virus in real time based on real simulations.”
m1nd-set’s B1S Director Pablo Saez-Gil added: “Given the highly specific criteria selection B1S provides, we are able to select a wide range of scenarios with multiple combinations, which demonstrate the percentage and actual declines in traffic per region, country and even by individual airport. This is possible both with the actual closures of routes, airports and borders with China as well as prospective closures, to provide real and potential traffic changes. This is proving vital to management and boardrooms across the sector so they can assess the impact and adapt strategies and business plans accordingly.”
B1S Scenario Methodology
m1nd-set’s Covid-19 scenarios tool uses the B1S airline traffic destinations database, which contains the full flight path (airline-origin, airport-direct destination and airport-final destination) for every single (more than 3.4 billion) unique flight path as well as ticket sales data from more than 4 billion passenger flight tickets over the past 12 months. The model calculates the scenarios based on actual passenger numbers from the previous 12 months and adapts the data based on current restrictions, including airlines that have ceased operations to airports in China, countries that have banned passengers on certain routes or that have locked down the borders for all air traffic from China, all of which have a direct impact on actual traffic.
In addition, the model integrates traffic demand data, both to and from China as well as within Asia Pacific and across the rest of the world to take into account how the Coronavirus is affecting demand globally. The traffic demand scenarios are then applied to every individual flight path to provide the most probable and realistic estimates on how traffic will be affected over the coming weeks and months.