Despite the financial support to deal with the damage caused by the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, airlines will come close to 2019 levels in 2023, said the International Air Transport Association (IATA), adding that traveler confidence will be much harder to re-build.
Releasing a new analysis, IATA found that the damage to air travel will impact long-haul / international travel most with quarantine measures on arrival further hurting traveler confidence. IATA is proposing the implementation of worldwide biosecurity measures, which it says are critical for the restart.
“Major stimulus from governments combined with liquidity injections by central banks will boost the economic recovery once the pandemic is under control. But rebuilding passenger confidence will take longer. And even then, individual and corporate travelers are likely to carefully manage travel spend and stay closer to home,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director general and CEO.
Travelers do not want to be quarantined
According to the survey carried out last month, more than half (58 percent) of those polled said they were “somewhat or very likely” to restrict their initial travel to domestic journeys.
Hindering travel, according to the report, is the possibility of quarantine with 86 percent saying they were “somewhat or very concerned” about being quarantined while traveling and 69 percent claiming that they would not consider traveling at all if it involved a 14-day containment period.
“This makes globally agreed and implemented biosecurity standards for the travel process all the more critical,” said de Juniac, adding that immediate action is required in order to avoid “the consequences of uncoordinated unilateral measures that marked the post-9.11 period”.
In this direction, IATA is calling on governments to find alternatives to arrival quarantine measures as part of post-pandemic travel restrictions.
IATA proposes a layering of temporary non-quarantine measures until a vaccine, immunity passports or nearly instant COVID-19 testing are available.
Meanwhile, in terms of recovery, a baseline scenario seeing that domestic markets opening in Q3, estimates a limited rebound with global passenger demand in 2021 to be 24 percent below 2019 levels.
IATA does not expect 2019 levels to be exceeded until 2023. Under the pessimistic outlook with lockdowns extending into Q3 and a potential second Covid-19 wave, passenger demand in 2021 could be 34 percent lower than 2019 levels.
“Even in the best of circumstances this crisis will cost many jobs and rob the economy of years of aviation-stimulated growth,” said de Juniac.