Australians Warned International Travel Might Not Be 'Back To Normal' Until 2023
Australians have been warned that international travel might not be back to pre-pandemic levels until at least 2023.
Officials have revealed that heading overseas and accepting loads of travellers through our gates will be the final frontier on the road out of the coronavirus.
But we've now been told just how far that frontier is.
The International Air Transport Association says air traffic should return to about 50 to 55 per cent of flights by the end of the year, however it's a much longer road to the scenes we had before the outbreak of Covid-19.
Association chief executive Alexandre de Juniac told ABC News Breakfast: "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, which is later than our previous forecast.
"That shows, you know, the importance and the severity of this crisis on air transport...We should join progressively the historical trends by the beginning of 2023.
"What we have planned is to restart the industry, first by reopening domestic markets, then regional continental markets, such as Asia-Pacific, or Europe, or North America."
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So, while you might be able to book that 30th birthday trip for the end of the year or in 2021, there won't be an abundance of flights to choose from.
Australia's Chief Medical Officer has explained that a large chunk of our coronavirus infections came from people who visited from overseas or were returning from an international holiday.
As a result, officials are being incredibly strict with our borders for the foreseeable future.
Doctor Brendan Murphy told a government inquiry into the coronavirus: "Two thirds of our cases have been overseas acquired and recent analysis in academic literature has shown that those countries that have done the best have introduced border measures.
"I cannot see border measures materially changing for some time and that presents a huge problem for the nation.
"There is no clear road map out of this, we have a strategy of maintaining strong suppression, potentially elimination in some parts of country while we relax restriction.
"Australia will continue to reassess every few months and see where the situation stands.
"I have no vision at the moment on the current international scene where strong border measures won't be necessary ... the world situation will evolve over many months."
So keep that massive suitcase in storage for a little while longer until it's safe to head abroad.
Featured Image Credit: PA