The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has released an updated global passenger forecast showing that the recovery in traffic has been slower than had been expected.
In the base case scenario the trade body expected global passenger traffic (measured in revenue passenger kilometres) will not return to pre-Covid-19 levels until 2024, a year later than previously projected.
The recovery in short-haul travel is still expected to happen faster than for long haul travel.
As a result, passenger numbers will recover faster than traffic measured in revenue passenger kilometres.
Recovery to pre-Covid-19 levels, however, will also slide by a year from 2022 to 2023.
For 2020, global passenger numbers (enplanements) are expected to decline by 55 per cent compared to 2019, worsened from the April forecast of 46 per cent.
June 2020 passenger traffic foreshadowed the slower-than-expected recovery.
Traffic, measured in revenue passenger kilometres, fell 86 per cent compared to the year-ago period.
That is only slightly improved from a 91 per cent contraction in May.
This was driven by rising demand in domestic markets, particularly China.
The June load factor set an all-time low for the month at 58 per cent.