Thursday, October 28, 2021

Airlines see sharply lower losses in 2022, recovery in sight

BOSTON- Global airlines on Monday forecast a sharp reduction in industry losses next year as a multi-speed recovery from the coronavirus crisis, but revised the financial toll from the pandemic in 2020 and 2021.

The International Air Transport Association, the industry’s main trade body, has predicted that airlines’ net losses will drop to $11.6 billion in 2022 from $51.8 billion this year.

The 2021 loss was revised down from an estimated $47.7 billion in April. IATA also revised the deficit for 2020 to $137.7 billion, from $126.4 billion previously estimated.

While airlines are expected to outperform across all regions, North America is projected to return to profits next year.

“We have passed the deepest point of the crisis,” IATA Director-General Willie Walsh said at the group’s annual meeting. “While serious issues remain, the road to recovery is on the way.”

Nevertheless, IATA urged governments to keep wage support measures and slot exemptions in place until international traffic recovers.

It expects international travel demand to double next year and reach 44 percent of 2019 levels. However, the immunization rate as well as the removal of border restrictions imposed by the government will determine the pace of recovery.

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“People … are withdrawing from international travel because of restrictions, uncertainty and complexity,” Walsh said.

As governments are looking at vaccinations as a way out of the health crisis, Walsh said vaccines need to be made available to anyone who wants them.

Domestic travel demand is projected to reach 93 percent of pre-pandemic levels in 2022 – an improvement of 20 percentage points from this year.

IATA estimates total passenger numbers are expected to increase to 3.4 billion next year from 2.3 billion in 2021, but down from 4.5 billion in 2019.

Passenger revenue is expected to grow by about 67 percent year-on-year to $378 billion in 2022. Air cargo is projected to remain the bright spot, IATA said, showing demand growth of 13.2 per cent from 2019 levels.

Rajesh Kumar Singh

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This News Originally From – The Epoch Times

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