The reason that air travel will not be back to normal at least until 2023 say chief of industry

12 Feb 2021

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International travel is unlikely to return to normal at least before 2023, said industry leader.

Alexendre de Juniac, Chief Executive of the International Air Transport Association ( IATA), warned that by the end of the year only 50% of air travel will return.

The prediction comes as part of a recent IATA forecast that analyzes a variety of possible recovery scenarios within the industry.

"What we see is that things will return to normal in 2023 which is later than our previous prediction," Mr de Juniac said Thursday to ABC Breakfast.

"That shows the significance and severity of this air transport crisis."

The forecast predicts that long-haul travel will be hit even worse, with 2024 forecasting a return to normal for international travel.

"The long-haul travel impacts of the crisis will be much more serious and longer than expected in domestic markets," Mr de Juniac said.

"It will take longer to restore trust among passengers. And even then, it is likely that individual and corporate travelers will manage travel expenses carefully and stay closer to home.

"It makes biosafety guidelines accepted and applied around the globe all the more important for the travel process.

He said the industry "must act fast" alongside governments to avoid similar aftermath to 9/11.

A recent IATA survey found that if they were forced to quarantine for two weeks, 69 percent of travelers would not fly abroad.

"In order to protect the ability of aviation to be a catalyst for economic recovery, we must not make this prognosis worse by quarantine measures making travel impossible," Mr de Juniac said.

The IATA has advised policymakers to rethink the need for quarantine periods on arrival in other countries, which is generally seen as a compulsory 14-day self-isolation period for passengers.