A fledgling recovery in both domestic and international air travel in October faces a new threat amid a spate of new restrictions imposed by governments due to the Omicron coronavirus variant, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said on Thursday.

"October's traffic performance reinforces that people will travel when they are permitted to. Unfortunately, government responses to the emergence of the Omicron variant are putting at risk the global connectivity it has taken so long to rebuild," IATA's Director General Willie Walsh said in a press release.

International passenger demand in October was 65.5 per cent below October 2019, compared to a 69 per cent decline for September versus the 2019 period, with all regions showing improvement, the release said.

Domestic markets were down 21.6 percent compared to October 2019, compared to the 24.2 percent decline recorded in September versus September 2019, it added.

IATA bases its comparison on 2019 to avoid comparisons between 2021 and 2020 monthly results, which are highly affected by the heavy impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the release.

Many governments have moved to limit international travel with the emergence of Omicron. For example, the United States has banned arrivals from eight nations in Southern Africa, the region where Omicron first surfaced.

Source: ANI / Sputnik