The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has revised its outlook for the airline industry, saying that deep losses will continue into 2021, even though performance is expected to improve over the period of the forecast. IATA expects the global airline industry to record a net loss of US$118.5 billion this year deeper than the US$84.3 billion forecast in June, followed by net loss of US$38.7 billion next year.
In a statement today, the association said the crisis is devastating and unrelenting as airlines have cut costs by 45.8 per cent, but revenues are down 60.9 per cent. “We need to get borders safely re-opened without quarantine so that people will fly again,” its director general and chief executive officer Alexandre de Juniac said.
While the industry will see improved performance in 2021 compared to 2020, he said the road to recovery is expected to be long and difficult. He said passenger volumes are not expected to return to 2019 levels until 2024 at the earliest, with domestic markets recovering faster than international services. Therefore, several critical challenges need urgent attention such as debt levels and financial support, closed boarders and quarantine as well as confidence, he said.