LONDON – According to data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), airlines collectively around the world will lose up to $51.8bn this year.
This represents a sharper decline compared to initial forecasts made in April of this year to $47.7bn.
Even for 2020, the forecasts were increased from $126.4bn to $137.7bn respectively.
Nothing Further to Worry About?
Commenting on the news was IATA’s Director-General Willie Walsh.
“[While the shortfall for airlines is” enormous, we are well past the deepest part of the crisis”.
“While serious issues remain, the path to recovery is coming into view, aviation is demonstrating its resilience yet again.”
Losses To Continue into 2022…
It is starting to look a lot clearer that the recovery of the industry is going to vary by region.
North America is the only region projected to generate positive profits for the next year, with Europe forecast to remain in the red with losses of $9.2 billion for 2022.
Whilst that number is lower than the projected $20.9 billion for 2021, IATA state that this is due to long-haul travel remaining quite limited.
That being said, areas such as Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East, and Africa will see smaller losses going into 2022.
Desire to Fly Not Lost…
Walsh continued his comments, stating that the desire to fly has not been lost, but is of course still being restricted globally.
“People have not lost their desire to travel, as we see in solid domestic market resilience. But they are being held back from international travel by restrictions, uncertainty, and complexity,”
“We fully agree that vaccinated people should not have their freedom of movement limited in any way,”
“In fact, the freedom to travel is a good incentive for more people to be vaccinated. Governments must work together and do everything in their power to ensure that vaccines are available to anybody who wants them.”
What remains clear is that the numbers given by IATA do back up that a recovery target of 2023 seems like the most likely option.
However, this is all depending on how reluctant governments around the world will be when it comes to re-opening the borders.
All we can do is sit and watch.