Worldwide passenger traffic may fall by 24% -34% in 2021 compared to the pre-crisis 2019 year, depending on how the restrictions on flights are lifted, according to industry recovery scenarios developed by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
The basic scenario will be realized if, by the third quarter of 2020, countries fully open their domestic markets amid a slowly phased resumption of international flights. In this case, the indicator of 2019, air carriers will be able to overcome no earlier than 2023.
In this forecast, IATA expects the beginning of a strong economic recovery at the end of 2020, however, even in 2025, aviation will lag 10% behind those indicators that were originally assumed without taking into account the crisis.
The pessimistic scenario implies a slower resumption of flights and the removal of restrictions with the extension of quarantine measures for the third quarter of 2020 due to a possible second wave of the spread of COVID-19. In this case, the passenger turnover in 2021 will be 34% less than in 2019.
“Significant support from governments along with injections of liquidity from central banks will accelerate economic recovery after the pandemic is under control. But it will take longer to restore passenger confidence. And even after that, travelers are likely to carefully monitor travel expenses, preferring to stay closer to home, ”IATA head Alexander de Junyak commented on the situation.
A passenger survey conducted by the organization in April showed that 40% of respondents were ready to return to flights only six months or longer after the pandemic was taken under control.
At the same time, 69% of travelers called stabilization of their financial condition as a condition for the resumption of travel.