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IATA: Global passenger numbers to surpass 105% of pre-COVID19 by 2023

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has reported that global passenger numbers are expected to return pre-covid levels by 2023.


According to IATA, passenger numbers are expected to recover 52% pre-covid19 by 2021, 88% by 2022, and 105% by 2023.


However, the 2030 global passenger numbers are expected to grow to 5.6 billion, a 7% lower of a pre-covid forecast estimated which is a loss of 2-3 years of growth due to the pandemic.


Annual growth of 3.8% was expected between 2019 and 2019 however IATA now predicts an average growth of 3.2% annually.


“I am always optimistic about aviation. We are in the deepest and gravest crisis in our history. But the rapidly growing vaccinated population and advancements in testing will return the freedom to fly in the months ahead. And when that happens, people are going to want to travel. The immediate challenge is to reopen borders, eliminate quarantine measures and digitally manage vaccination/testing certificates. At the same time, we must assure the world that aviation’s long-term growth prospects are supported with an unwavering commitment to sustainability. Both challenges require governments and industries to work in partnership. Aviation is ready. But I don’t see governments moving fast enough,” - Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director-General.

It is evident that passengers are very eager to travel as any border openings are met with a surge in bookings.


Many countries have started to lower restrictions due to the ongoing global vaccination and the low number of active COVID19 cases.


Vaccination rates in developed countries are expected to exceed 50% of the population by the third quarter of 2021.


“This should be a clarion call to governments to get ready. The travel and tourism sector is a major contributor to GDP. People’s livelihoods are at stake. To avoid greater long-term economic and social damage, restart must not be delayed. Governments can facilitate a safe restart with policies that enable restriction-free travel for vaccinated people, and testing alternatives for those unable to be vaccinated. Governments must also be ready with processes to digitally manage the vaccine or test certificates—ensuring that a safe restart is also efficient,” - Willie Walsh.

IATA urges that is critical for governments to step up their support for more efficient operations and foster an effective energy transition to ensure aviation sustainability.


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