Global Commercial Air Travel Will Take Years to Return to Normal

International travel won’t return to normal until 2023, a report just released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said.

It would take at least 5 years for overseas air traveL to return, with 2025 still expected to be 10% below peak 2019 levels.

IATA Director-general Alexandre de Juniac predicted international travel would take a lot longer than originally thought. He said it would take a significant effort for the aviation industry to recover from the pandemic.

“We have published today a new forecast about the potential recovery of the air traffic and what we see is that things should come back to normal in 2023,” Mr de Juniac said.

“That shows the importance and the severity of this crisis on air transport.”

The Geneva based organisation said it hoped international travel between major centres and between Continents would start to resume by the end of 2020.

However, even if routes opened up again, international travel would still be as low as 50% of pre crisis levels.

Costs of flying and commercial aviation competition would be hampered, meaning less opportunities to travel for most people.

The organisation urged governments to support the airline industry financially, in order to preserve The viability of international travel longer term.

The organisation also encouraged governments to implement covid safe flying practices and checks at airports.

He said the organisation believed preventing travellers who were experiencing coronavirus symptoms from travelling and doing temperature screening were good options.

“To protect aviation’s ability to be a catalyst for the economic recovery, we must not make that prognosis worse by making travel impracticable with quarantine measures,” he said. 

“Even in the best of circumstances this crisis will cost many jobs and rob the economy of years of aviation-stimulated growth.”

Read the report

The lack of international travel presents a unique opportunity for domestic tourism within Australia.

A roadmap released by the Australian government suggested safe and Australia domestic air travel could start to return in July.