PARIS: Global airlines cut their coronavirus recovery forecast on Tuesday, saying it would take until 2024 — a year longer than previously expected — for passenger traffic to return to pre-crisis levels.
In an update on the pandemic’s crippling impact on air travel, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) cited slow virus containment in the United States and developing countries, and a weaker outlook for corporate travel.
Lingering travel barriers and new restrictions in some markets are also weighing on nearer-term prospects, IATA said, cutting its 2020 passenger numbers forecast to a 55 per cent decline — sharper than the 46pc drop predicted in April.
“The second half of this year will see a slower recovery than we’d hoped,” IATA Chief Economist Brian Pearce said.
June passenger numbers were down 86.5pc year-on-year, the organisation said, after a 91pc contraction in May.
A surprise move by Britain to quarantine arrivals from Spain has created lot of uncertainty, Pearce said. “That is clearly going to be an issue with the recovery.”
Recovery prospects are weakened by the spread of Covid-19 in the United States and developing countries together representing 40pc of global air travel, IATA said.
Published in Dawn, July 29th, 2020