While domestic travel is likely to resume before the end of the year, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) – the top industry body for air travel worldwide – has confirmed that overseas travel is unlikely to return to normal until 2023.
Speaking to ABC News Breakfast on Thursday morning, IATA chief executive Alexandre de Juniac delivered the forecast for future international travel.
Side note: These are the types of people you always run into at the airport. Post continues below.
“We have published today a new forecast about the potential recovery of air traffic, and what we see is that things should come back to normal in 2023, which is later than our previous forecast,” he said.
“That shows, you know, the importance and the severity of the crisis on air transport,” he added.
He also confirmed that plans are underway to reboot air travel slowly and in stages.
“We have planned is to restart the industry, first by reopening the domestic markets, then regional continental markets, such as Asia-Pacific, or Europe, or North America,” he confirmed.
“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 2020.”
While some international travel will likely restart next year, things won’t return to normal for a few years.
It’s also likely that international travel will initially only open for essential or professional reasons, meaning international holidays will be off the cards for a little longer than expected.
But although things are looking grim for international travel, Australians may have the opportunity to travel to New Zealand in the near future.