Air passenger numbers return to pre-crisis level in 2023 - IATA

The number of air passengers in the world will return from 2023 to the level of 2019, before the covid-19 pandemic led to a drop in air travelIATA predicted this Wednesday.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has indicated that this year the number of passengers carried is expected to represent 52% of the pre-crisis level and to rise to 88% in 2022, according to its projections.

By 2023 it should surpass the 2019 level (105%) and reach 5.6 billion passengers by the end of the decade, grace an annual growth of 3.9% between 2025 and 2030.

The crisis caused by the pandemic should, however, represent a loss of two to three years of growth over the decade, IATA predicts.

By 2020, frequency fell to the 2003 level of 1.8 billion passengers, according to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

Developments will be different in the various regions, with Asia-Pacific (annual growth of 5.4% is expected) and Africa-Middle East (up 5%) standing out, while Western Europe is expected to grow by 2.3% per year and North America by 1.5%.

With progress on vaccination, "people want to travel" and take advantage of the lifting in movement restrictions, said IATA Director General Willie Walsh. "The industry is prepared, but I don't see governments acting fast enough" to facilitate the lifting of restrictions, he pointed out.

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