Interattivo

Air Travel Forecast: When Will Airlines Recover from Covid-19?

Despite optimism earlier in the year, 2021 global airline revenue is projected to end up about the same as 2020.

Interattivo

Air Travel Forecast: When Will Airlines Recover from Covid-19?
en

Global commercial air traffic plummeted in the first quarter of 2020 as the Covid-19 pandemic took hold. In May 2020, we began making regular forecasts of how soon aviation demand would recover based on four potential scenarios and the latest information. We’re now publishing those forecasts in this dashboard, which we’ll update regularly.

Here are the latest developments as of November 2021.

  • This year’s global airline revenue is expected to land near the 2020 total, a disappointing outcome for a year that began with optimism for a faster travel rebound based on the arrival of Covid-19 vaccines. Since our previous forecast, the projected global revenue for 2021 in the baseline recovery scenario continues to drop, falling an additional $5 billion, to $230 billion. That would represent just 34% of the industry’s total revenue in 2019 (see panel 1 above). Last year’s global airline revenue totaled 33% of 2019’s revenue.
  • We expect air travel demand in Asia to pick up as China rebounds after Covid-19 lockdowns curbed air traffic (see panel 3). In Europe, the travel recovery has flattened since the summer, although we’re projecting slight improvement as countries’ travel restrictions continue to loosen, such as in the UK. The US’s reopening to vaccinated international travelers this month should also contribute to increased global air travel.

Projected market and financial information, analyses, and conclusions are based (unless sourced otherwise) on external information and Bain & Company’s judgment. They are intended as a guide only and should not be construed as definitive forecasts or guarantees of future performance or results. No responsibility or liability whatsoever is accepted by any person, including Bain & Company, Inc. or its affiliates and their respective officers, employees, or agents, for any errors or omissions.

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