Peak Travel Body Says International Travel Won't Return To Normal Until At Least 2024
Australia's borders have been closed for months and many are aware that international travel is off the cards until coronavirus pandemic restrictions ease.
However, it's just been revealed how long it might take before the sky is filled with planes like before Covid-19.
The International Air Transport Association had previously earmarked 2023 for when air traffic would resemble levels seen before the pandemic, however those projections have now been pushed back by a year.
While there will be some flights in the next 24 to 36 months leaving Australia to take you to new and exciting lands, don't expect there to be an abundance of airlines to take you.
International Air Transport Association CEO Alexandre de Juniac said in a statement: "Passenger traffic hit bottom in April, but the strength of the upturn has been very weak. What improvement we have seen has been domestic flying. International markets remain largely closed.
"Consumer confidence is depressed and not helped by the UK's weekend decision to impose a blanket quarantine on all travellers returning from Spain. And in many parts of the world infections are still rising. All of this points to a longer recovery period and more pain for the industry and the global economy.
"Domestic traffic improvements notwithstanding, international traffic, which in normal times accounts for close to two-thirds of global air travel, remains virtually non-existent."
It's hoped Australia will have a travel bubble with New Zealand, however that's not expected to be finalised until at least the end of the year or early next year.
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The recent second wave in Victoria and small outbreaks in New South Wales has given New Zealand authorities cold feet, despite other parts of Australia being Covid-free for several weeks.
Latest forecast: The return of global passenger traffic to pre-#COVID19 levels is now delayed by a year, to 2024.- IATA (@IATA) July 28, 2020
As int'l #travel remains limited, the recovery for global passenger traffic has been slower than expected :chart_with_downwards_trend:
More details :point_right:https://t.co/Ijt8UChxmP pic.twitter.com/RrITj6vEiz
New Zealand is now looking at opening up a travel bubble with the Cook Islands.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told Newshub: "It's clear to us that opening up with Realm countries, keeping in mind they are New Zealand passport holders, will come before any opening up with Australia."
"[Officials are] doing that. They're working with the airlines. That's going to take several weeks. Then we'll get a report back on exact dates when we'll be able to start the rollout of the reopening."
She refused to zero in on a date when that could be expected.
Her deputy, Winston Peters, says there could be a travel bubble established between New Zealand and Australian states and territories that are Covid-free, however that will take longer to set up.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison reckons it will be at the end of the year and even hinted some Pacific Island nations and Japan could be included.
Featured Image Credit: PA