This is a year later than the previous projection of the airline authority.
The body, which represents 290 airlines, blamed the slow recovery for many factors, including lack of consumer confidence, declining business travel and new peaks in coronaviruses in the United States and elsewhere.
According to the revised baseline forecast, international passenger transport will fall by 55% in 2020 compared to 2019. In April, IATA forecast a decline of only 46%.
The number of passengers is expected to increase by 62% next year, but will still fall by almost 30% compared to the period before Covid, with a full recovery to pre-pandemic levels, which is not on the card, within four years from now.
“Passenger transport bottomed out in April, but the strength of the ascent was very weak,”; said Alexandre de Juniac, CEO and CEO of IATA, in a statement. “What improvement we have seen in domestic flying.”
Not surprisingly, short-distance travel recovers faster than long-distance travel – due to the level of passenger comfort, but also because international markets remain largely closed.
“Consumer confidence is weakened and the UK’s weekend decision does not help to impose a flat-rate quarantine on all passengers returning from Spain,” de Juniac said.
The British government surprised on its corridor between the United Kingdom and Spain on Saturday, immediately renewing its 14-day quarantine for all passengers arriving from a popular tourist destination following an increase in coronavirus cases in the country.
In terms of domestic transport, Chinese airlines are at the forefront of the recovery, falling by 35.5% in June from 2019, down from 46.3% in May.
IATA says scientific advances in the fight against Covid-19, including the development of a successful vaccine, could allow for a faster recovery. But for now, the future looks bleak.
“In many parts of the world, infections are still growing,” said IATA de Juniac. “All of this points to a longer recovery period and more pain for industry and the world economy.”
As airlines struggle financially, governments will have to continue rescue measures to stop carriers from getting under, the aviation authority said.
“Summer – the busiest time of our industry – is moving fast,” said de Juniac. He said that “there is little chance of an increase in international air traffic unless governments quickly and resolutely seek to find alternatives to closing borders, reopening and building trust that destroys trust,” he said.