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Experts Warn International Air Travel Won't Be Back To Normal Until 2023

Experts Warn International Air Travel Won't Be Back To Normal Until 2023

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has said there will be 'no quick rebound' to pre-pandemic levels of travel

Claire Reid

Claire Reid

Experts from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) have said that air travel is not expected to return back to normal until 2023.

The trade association has said passenger numbers for international travel is not expected to reach 'pre-pandemic' levels until 2023 'at the earliest'.


IATA's Chief Economist Brian Pearce said: "Covid's effects on air travel are certainly going to last a number of years with no quick rebound to 2019 levels."

The association said long-haul travel will be the most severely impacted.

A recent survey by Lonely Planet found that 69 percent of travellers would rather stay home than have to go through a 14-day quarantine once they arrive at their holiday destination.

The IATA is urging governments to reconsider lengthy quarantines in the future.

IATA director-general and CEO Alexandre de Juniac told Lonely Planet: "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.


"We need a solution for safe travel that addresses those challenges.

"It must give passengers the confidence to travel safely and without undue hassle, and it must give governments confidence that they are protected from importing the virus."

The association has said that domestic travel will recover more quickly, but estimates that next year's international travel demand will be 24 percent below 2019 levels.

IATA has put out a set of principles to restart the industry, including ensuring that safety and security comes first, 'responding flexibly as the crisis and science evolve' and vowing to meet its environmental targets.

Juniac added: "Re-starting air transport is important. Even as the pandemic continues, the foundations for an industry re-start are being laid through close collaboration of the air transport industry with ICAO, the WHO, individual governments and other parties.

"Much work, however, remains to be done. By committing to these principles, the leaders of the world's airlines will guide the safe, responsible and sustainable re-start of our vital economic sector. Flying is our business. And it is everyone's shared freedom."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: World News, Coronavirus