Passenger numbers to exceed pre-Covid levels in 2023
Global airline passenger numbers will surpass pre-Covid levels in 2023, forecasts Iata.
Iata predicts that global passenger numbers will recover to 52 per cent of 2019 levels in 2021; 88% in 2022; and 105 per cent in 2023. Passenger numbers are expected to have grown to 5.6 billion by 2030, which is 7 per cent below the pre-pandemic forecast.
The report reveals that the pandemic will have cost the industry two to three years of growth in air travel. Despite this, Iata director general Willie Walsh said that he was always “optimistic about aviation”.
“We are in the deepest and gravest crisis in our history. But the rapidly growing vaccinated population and advancements in testing will return the freedom to fly in the months ahead. And when that happens, people are going to want to travel.”
Walsh urged governments to remove restrictions to allow air travel to bounce back.
He added: “The immediate challenge is to reopen borders, eliminate quarantine measures and digitally manage vaccination/testing certificates. At the same time, we must assure the world that aviation’s long-term growth prospects are supported with an unwavering commitment to sustainability. Both challenges require governments and industry to work in partnership. Aviation is ready. But I don’t see governments moving fast enough.”