As with other nations, Brunei Darussalam’s aviation industry has been directly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to air traffic figures from January to October this year, air passenger movement was 416,012, down by 76.54 per cent, compared to the same period last year.
Meanwhile, up to October this year, air cargo also dropped by 58.24 per cent, compared to the 8,605 metric tonnes transported last year.
These statistics were highlighted by Minister of Transport and Infocommunications Dato Seri Setia Awang Abdul Mutalib bin Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Setia Dato Paduka Haji Mohd Yusof, in a message to mark International Civil Aviation Day.
“Not only does this leave a significant effect on passenger traffic, aviation and cargo transportation, but also the socio-economic effects arising from such activity,” he said.
The minister said, “Among the affected sectors in this industry are the tourism and hotel sectors.
“The impact from COVID-19 pandemic has left a significant impact on global air traffic, with a drastic drop this year.
“The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has forecast that air traffic will fall by 66 per cent this year, compared to the previous year.
“Despite such a drop, air cargo transportation will rise and resemble last year’s record towards 2021, with an average growth of 61.2 million metric tonnes, compared to 61.3 million metric tonnes last year.
“The number of global tourists from January to May this year has dropped by 56 per cent.
“The aviation industry is one of the main components of globalisation which is influential in connecting the world for the movement of people, services and goods.
“In 2019, global air transport transported 4.5 billion passengers and 61.2 million metric tonnes of cargo. This achievement involved 87.7 million employees who serve directly or indirectly from this industry, with a contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP) rate of about USD3.5 trillion (4.1 per cent) in the world economy.
“This shows that the aviation industry plays an important and significant role to the economic and social progress of the world.
“Advancing Innovation for Global Aviation Development is the theme of International Civil Aviation Day for 2020 to 2023. This theme is timely, in line with the aspirations of Brunei Darussalam, which have been incorporated into the Digital Economy Masterplan 2025, to become a Smart Nation through a Digital Transformation that is intended to drive and enhance the country’s socio-economic growth.
“The application of modern innovations and technologies in the aviation industry plays a key role in helping to improve the level and quality of flight safety. This is because safety can affect the trust and confidence of the public to choose air transport as a safe and efficient transportation.
“Air transport plays a crucial role as a catalyst towards social development, in generating the country’s economic development. The MTIC, with the cooperation of various parties through a whole-of-nation approach, will ensure and prioritise the best safety level for the wellbeing of airport users.”