Airline passengers to reach 83% of pre-pandemic figures in 2023

The International Air Transport Association is confident global airline passenger numbers will reach 83% of pre-pandemic figures in 2023, and the aviation industry’s recovery to profitability will be “within grasp” next year despite ongoing uncertainties.

The Covid-19 outbreak caused chaos in the aviation industry, with passenger numbers falling by 60% in 2020 and 50% in 2021. Over the course of those 2 years airlines lost approximately US$200 billion. In some countries the situation was even worse. Other airlines switched to carrying cargo to take advantage of the huge shift over to online shopping during the pandemic.

The IATA stated in an improved industry outlook report, announced before its annual general meeting in Doha, that losses will decline to US$9.7 billion in 2022, much improved from US$137.7 billion in 2020 and US$42.1 billion in 2021.

“Airlines are resilient. People are flying in ever greater numbers and cargo is performing well against a backdrop of growing economic uncertainty.”

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While some companies in the industry went out of business, others, usually backed by governments, came out of the pandemic with earnings unaffected.

Given economic concerns, over 1,200 planes are scheduled to be delivered this year, with cargo volumes expected to hit a record of nearly 70 million tonnes.

According to the IATA, the airline industry’s profitability “appears within reach” next year, with North American airlines forecast to earn US$8.8 billion in 2022.

“Strong pent-up demand, the lifting of travel restrictions in most markets, low unemployment in most countries, and expanded personal savings are fueling a resurgence in demand that will see passenger numbers reach 83% of pre-pandemic levels in 2022.”

Travellers have been impacted by cancellations and delays due to a lack of employees at airports and protests demanding better pay in recent weeks. The issues stem from the coronavirus outbreak, when airports and airlines were forced to lay off thousands of workers. But now they’re on the lookout to rehire workers things should improve even more.

As China continues to battle with the outbreak, the IATA had to relocate its AGM from Shanghai to Qatar. The 290 companies that make up the global association account for 83% of all air traffic.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Pete is a writer for The Thaiger, and he writes various topics from news, travel and property. His main focus is writing about Thai news, and what is happening in Thailand.

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