Vueling Airlines planes sit parked in a line at the Seville, Spain airport on Saturday, March 21, 2020, idled due to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Miguel Morenatti

Vueling Airlines planes sit parked in a line at the Seville, Spain airport on Saturday, March 21, 2020, idled due to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Miguel Morenatti

Air travel rebound is not yet on the radar, border services passenger numbers show

The Canada-U.S. land border closure has been extended until at least Oct. 21

Figures from the Canada Border Services Agency show international air travel remains severely depressed due to fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The number of passengers arriving at Canadian airports from abroad last week is 93 per cent lower than it was a year earlier, similar to the rest of September and August but slightly up from the spring trough.

Travellers on flights from the U.S. — by far Canada’s largest foreign aviation market — were down 96 per cent.

The Canada-U.S. land border closure has been extended until at least Oct. 21 on top of a ban on foreign travellers, including most Americans, and the two-week self-isolation required of all Canadians returning from overseas.

The agency numbers come the same day the International Air Transport Association downgraded its global traffic forecast for 2020 to a two-thirds decline following what its director general called a “disastrous” August performance capping off the industry’s “worst-ever summer season.”

Canadian airlines have called on Ottawa to provide financial aid to the ailing sector and ease travel restrictions amid nascent COVID-19 testing at several airports.

ALSO READ: Canada’s population tops 38 million, even as COVID-19 pandemic slows growth

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