Now 2024: IATA says air travel recovery to take longer than expected earlier


NEW DELHI: The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has warned that recovery in air travel from the pandemic impact has been slower than expected due to sharp spike in cases in many countries, reduced corporate travel and weak consumer confidence. Accordingly, it says global passenger traffic will not return to pre-Covid-19 levels until 2024, a year later than previously projected.
The recovery in short haul travel is still expected to happen faster than for long haul travel. For 2020, global passenger numbers are expected to decline by 55% compared to 2019, lower than the April forecast of 46%, it says.
“The more pessimistic recovery outlook is based on a number of recent trends: slow virus containment in the US and developing economies; reduced corporate travel… as video conferencing appears to have made significant inroads as a substitute for in-person meetings and weak consumer confidence,” IATA said.
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IATA DG and CEO Alexandre de Juniac said: “Passenger traffic hit bottom in April, but the strength of the upturn has been very weak. What improvement we have seen has been domestic flying. International markets remain largely closed. Consumer confidence is depressed… And in many parts of the world infections are still rising. All of this points to a longer recovery period and more pain for the industry and the global economy.”
“Domestic traffic improvements notwithstanding, international traffic, which in normal times accounts for close to two-thirds of global air travel, remains virtually non-existent. Most countries are still closed to international arrivals or have imposed quarantines, that have the same effect as an outright lockdown. Summer — our industry’s busiest season — is passing by rapidly; with little chance for an upswing in international air travel unless governments move quickly and decisively to find alternatives to border closures, confidence-destroying stop-start re-openings and demand-killing quarantine,” de Juniac added.



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