Air Passenger Traffic Expected to Reach Pre-Pandemic Levels in 2023

Since March 2020, air travel has taken a major hit, as the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has spread worldwide. This has led to an almost major shutdown of air travel, with many airlines and routes suffering major losses in revenue and passenger numbers.

A Turnaround towards 2023

However, a recent report from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) revealed that air passenger traffic is expected to return back to its pre-pandemic levels by 2023. This turnaround has largely been attributed to rolling out of vaccines, improved safety measures at airports, and the effective management of cases to ensure that the virus does not spread through air travel.

The Recovery Process

While the recovery process might take a few years, it is expected that by the end of 2021, there will be a return to approximately 80% of the pre-pandemic volumes. This is expected to further increase throughout 2022, with the hope that by 2023, air passenger traffic will have recovered to its pre-pandemic level.

This optimistic forecast has been fueled by the rollout of vaccines across the globe, as well as positive customer sentiment, with over 38% of respondents from a recent survey expressing their willingness to travel on planes in the near future.

What This Means for Airlines

The turnaround in passenger traffic is a shot in the arm for airlines that have suffered severe financial losses in the last year. Airlines are now bracing for the rebound in business, and getting ready to meet the expected growth in passenger numbers.

To ensure that they are well-prepared for this anticipated upsurge in air travel, many airlines are:

  • Re-introducing schedules and routesthat had been temporarily removed over the last year as a cost-saving measure.
  • Recruiting new personnelto meet the expected rise in demand for staff to operate commercial flights.
  • Increasing their fleets and reviving their operationsin some cases by orders of new planes or taking advantage of leasing options.

The Return of Air Travel

Overall, these new estimates of a turnaround in air passenger traffic by 2023 give renewed optimism for the future of air travel. With the successful implementation of vaccines, judicious air travel policies, and enhanced safety measures, 2023 could finally be the year when air travel returns to its pre-pandemic levels.

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