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International air travel will not recover until 2024, airline says | Instant News



This is a year later than the airline’s previous projection. The body, which represents 290 airlines, blamed the slow recovery on a number of factors, including lack of consumer confidence, declining business travel and further peaks of coronavirus in the United States and elsewhere. The revised baseline forecast is that international passenger traffic will fall by 55% in 2020, compared to 2019. In April, IATA predicted that the decline would only be 46%. Passenger numbers are expected to increase by 62% next year, but will still be down almost 30% from pre-Covid times, with a full recovery to pre-pandemic levels not predicted before four years. “Passenger traffic bottomed out in April, but the strength of the recovery was very weak,” Alexandre de Juniac, managing director and CEO of IATA, said in a statement. “The improvement we have seen is domestic flights.” Unsurprisingly, short-haul travel is expected to recover faster than long-haul – due to passenger comfort levels, but also because international markets remain largely closed. “Consumer confidence is depressed and is not being helped by the UK’s decision over the weekend to impose a general quarantine on all travelers returning from Spain,” de Juniac said. The UK government made a surprise U-turn on its UK-Spain travel corridor on Saturday, reinstating its 14-day quarantine with immediate effect for all travelers arriving from the popular tourist destination, following an increase in coronavirus cases in the country. Many British holidaymakers – who had taken off shortly after schools were shut down for the summer – were surprised by the move. British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab defended the move, telling Sky News that she “made the decision as quickly as possible, and we cannot apologize for it.” In terms of domestic traffic, Chinese airlines are leading the recovery, with traffic down 35.5% in June compared to the period 2019, down from 46.3% in May. IATA says progress scientists in the fight against Covid-19, including the development of an effective vaccine, could allow a faster recovery. But for now, the future looks bleak. “In many parts of the world, infections continue to increase,” said de Juniac of IATA. “All of this points to a longer recovery period and more pain for industry and the global economy.” With airlines struggling financially, governments will have to pursue relief measures to prevent carriers from going bankrupt, the airline said. “Summer – the busiest season in our industry – is passing quickly,” said de Juniac. He said there was “unlikely to be a resumption of international air travel unless governments act quickly and decisively to find alternatives to border closures, trust-destroying stop-start reopening and to quarantine which kills demand “. .



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