The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said in its latest passenger forecast that global passenger traffic will not return to pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels until 2024.
According to the association, recovery in short-haul is still expected to happen faster than for the long-haul.
Previously, IATA projected that global passenger traffic will return to pre-Covid-19 levels by 2023.
As a result of the pandemic, global passenger numbers are expected to decline by 55 percent when compared to 2019.
Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director general and chief executive told the media, “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 not helped by the UK’s weekend decision to impose a blanket quarantine on all travellers returning from Spain. 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.”
“For airlines, this is bad news that points to the need for governments to continue with relief measures—financial and otherwise. A full Northern Winter season waiver on the 80-20 use-it-or-lose it slot rule, for example, would provide critical relief to airlines in planning schedules amid unpredictable demand patterns. Airlines are planning their schedules. They need to keep sharply focused on meeting demand and not meeting slot rules that were never meant to accommodate the sharp fluctuations of a crisis. The earlier we know the slot rules the better, but we are still waiting for governments in key markets to confirm a waiver,” de Juniac added.