International Air Transport Association says return to aviation industry profits ‘within reach’ in 2023

The International Air Transport Association said on Monday that despite continued uncertainty, the aviation industry’s return to profits is “within reach” in 2023.

Ahead of its annual general meeting in Doha, IATA said from an enhanced industry perspective that air passengers are expected to reach 83% of pre-pandemic levels this year.

The document quotes IATA Director General Willie Walsh as saying, “Airlines are resilient. People are flying in ever greater numbers. And cargo is doing well amid growing economic uncertainty.”

In a “huge improvement” from $42.1 billion in 2021, industry losses are expected to drop to $9.7 billion this year.

With a 60% drop in passenger numbers in 2020 and a drop of the remaining 50% in 2021, the aviation industry has been reeling from the pandemic.

While some airlines lost nearly $200 billion over two years while other companies in the industry went bankrupt.

In 2022, cargo volumes are expected to reach a record 68.4 million tonnes “despite economic challenges”, according to IATA forecasts.

“Strong pent-up demand, the lifting of travel restrictions in most markets, low unemployment in most countries and rising personal savings are fueling a resurgence in demand that will see passenger numbers reach 83% of pre-pandemic levels in 2022,” IATA said.

North American airlines were expected to make a profit of $8.8 billion this year with an expected delivery of more than 1,200 planes.

Ahead of a potential summer of chaos with shortages and strikes that could threaten their recovery, airlines are desperate to put the coronavirus pandemic behind them.

Representatives of the aviation sector gathered until Tuesday in Qatar have a busy agenda with multiple geopolitical crises including the war in Ukraine and the environment, while trade comes back to life.

Although industry figures are optimistic about the future despite the problems, cracks are already appearing in the sector’s recovery.

(With agency contributions)

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Post expires at 3:42pm on Thursday June 30th, 2022