Recovery of the airline industry would be in 2023: IATA

The head of the world’s largest airline industry body said on Monday that passenger traffic is recovering faster than expected and that, on average, the sector could return to pre-pandemic levels in 2023, a year earlier. than expected.

The easing of Covid-19-related restrictions around the world has released pent-up demand over the past two years as governments closed their borders, leading to a surge in flights.

The Director General of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Willie Walsh, told Reuters that the near-term outlook remains positive, even as the aviation sector faces new headwinds such as high oil prices, inflation and labor shortages.

“We’re seeing very strong bookings. Certainly every airline CEO I talk to sees not only good short-term travel demand, but continues to see demand throughout the year,” he told a conference. in Riyadh.

Many regions are expected to do better this year, although Walsh warned he did not expect a quick recovery in Asia-Pacific, citing restrictions in China due to its zero Covid policy.

But he said that overall, given the current rapid rebound in passenger traffic, the industry could reach pre-pandemic passenger numbers next year, helped by a strong summer in 2023.

“I don’t think we should be distracted from the fact that we’re seeing a strong recovery and I think that recovery will pick up momentum as we go through the remainder of the year into 2023.”

Wizz Air Chief Executive Jozsef Varadi told Reuters separately that he was fairly confident the European low-cost airline would have good booking figures in the summer, though he said he was concerned about supply chain disruptions. such as staff shortages at airports.

“I think we will have a lot of customers, but we will have a lot of problems in the supply chain.”

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