When the world will open its borders to air travelers: expert forecast
The full opening of borders around the world can only happen by mid-2021. Such terms were predicted by the Director General of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Alexander de Junac, writes "Lenta.ru".
As the expert noted, the resumption of air traffic will be facilitated by the emergence of a vaccine against coronavirus and the widespread use of testing in different countries of the world. The latter, he stressed, is more important, since some passengers may refuse vaccinations.
At the same time, according to the CEO of IATA, airlines are already appearing in the world that want to make vaccination a prerequisite for long-distance flights. One of these was the Australian Qantas - however, de Junac is sure that few will follow its example.
“It would prevent people from traveling,” he explained.
The CEO of IATA has calculated that during the pandemic, airlines around the world will lose about $ 157 billion: $ 118,5 billion this year alone and another $ 38,7 billion in 2021. According to him, the total number of air passengers in 2020 will decrease from 4,5 to 1,8 billion people and only next year will gradually begin to increase. Passenger revenue is set to fall 69 percent this year to $ 191 billion.
The gloomy outlook highlights the challenges the sector continues to face despite upbeat news about the development of COVID-19 vaccines that will continue to roll out globally over the next year. Reuters.
“This is by far the biggest shock the industry has experienced since World War II,” complains IATA chief economist Brian Pearce.
IATA said air cargo is a rare bright spot for the industry, as the need for flights drives up freight prices. This year, global revenues are likely to grow by 15% (to $ 117,7 billion) despite a decline in volumes by 11,6% (to 54,2 million tonnes).
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Pierce warned that there would be more bankruptcies in the industry. Norwegian Air was the latest victim of the crisis - on 18 November it filed for bankruptcy protection in Ireland.
The average airline now has enough liquidity to survive another 8,5 months, and some just weeks, Pierce said.
In October, de Junac said the risk of contracting the coronavirus on an airplane was extremely low. According to him, the likelihood of catching a virus is in the same category as a lightning strike.
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