Global Air Travel Won’t Fully Recover Until 2024

By Kurt Stolz on 29 July 2020
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Heathrow Terminal 5 from the air

The impact of the coronavirus pandemic on global air travel will continue until 2024, the International Air Transport Association said.

The updated forecast is for a year later than originally projected.

“Global passenger traffic will not return to pre-Covid-19 levels until 2024,” the body, which represents 290 airlines across the globe, said.

IATA attributed the more pessimistic recovery projection to slow virus containment in the United States and developing economies, reduced corporate travel, and weak consumer confidence.

The group said that international passenger traffic will drop 55% this year, compared to 2019. In April, IATA had estimated that it would drop just 46% in 2020.

Meanwhile, short-haul travel is expected to recover faster than long-haul travel, largely due to the closure of multiple international borders.

“Passenger traffic hit bottom in April, but the strength of the upturn has been very weak,” said the group’s CEO, Alexandre de Juniac.  “What improvement we have seen has been domestic flying. International markets remain largely closed.”

“All of this points to a longer recovery period and more pain for the industry and the global economy,” he added.

Passenger traffic in 2021 should increase 62% compared to the depressed figures of 2020, but that will still be down 30% compared to 2019.

(Photo: Accura Media Group)

Accura News

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