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Official says international air travel won’t return to normal until 2023

There’s been some bad news for anyone hoping to travel internationally anytime soon. Speaking on ABC radio this morning, chief executive of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) in Geneva, Alexandre de Juniac, said that he doesn’t expect air travel to return to normal until 2023.

Whilst domestic travel will probably start up later this year, international travel won’t be an option until the pandemic is able to be contained – probably in the instance of finding a vaccine.

air travel, international
Photo: Ross Parmly

The International Air Transport Association has revealed a new forecast which predicts that international travel won’t return to normal until 2023.

Speaking on ABC breakfast, the global travel boss described:

“We have published today a new forecast about the potential recovery of the air traffic, and what we see is that things should come back to normal in 2023, which is later than our previous forecast.”

Whilst some international travel may return next year, things don’t look likely to return to normal for another three years.

“That shows, you know, the importance and the severity of this crisis on air transport,” Mr de Juniac said. “We should join progressively the historical trends by the beginning of 2023.”

Yet whilst international travel might be off the cards, the option of an Australia-New Zealand trave bubble looks likely.

“What we have planned is to restart the industry, first by reopening domestic markets, then regional continental markets, such as Asia-Pacific, or Europe, or North America,” he continued. “At the end of 2020, the traffic should be between 50 to 55 per cent of the same level that was in place in 2019. So, we would lose something like half the traffic for the 2020.” 

Best get comfortable, looks like we’re here for the long-haul.