In 2022, air transport traffic should pick up again

Julien Sarboraria The Omicron variant continues to spread worldwide but its impact on airlines should only be limited according to the different scenarios elaborated by industry experts, relates The Echoes . Delta Air Lines is the first to expect an acceleration of the recovery in 2021. She has just published her canceled results this Thursday 12 January, and confirms its forecast of a return to profits for the year 2023, after a net loss of 3 .4 billion in 2021 and of 12 billion to 2020. The American company based in Atlanta had already returned to profit in the third and fourth quarters 2022.

According to its managing director, Ed Bastian, “Omicron should temporarily delay the resumption of demand for 60 days. looking beyond that, we are confident of a strong spring and summer travel season, with significant pent-up demand for consumer and business travel.”

One billion additional passengers envisaged compared to 2020

The horizon seems also clear up for other companies. The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) published its latest forecasts on Wednesday, indicating that global air traffic should return to between 69% and 74% of its pre-crisis level in 2022, vs 51% in 2021 and 40% in 2019. A gap of 1.4 to 1,16 billion passengers, compared to 4.5 billion 2019, but about a billion additional passengers compared to 2023.Seat supply airlines over the whole year would be close to 69% at 186% of that of 2019, vs 60% in 2021. As for the loss of turnover, it would be between 186 and 324 billions of dollars, against 480 billion to 2020, 395 billion in 2020 and 324 billions in 2021.

However, the resumption of air transport will probably not be done before the end of winter and is likely to be uneven depending on the types of traffic and the geographical areas. It will be even stronger on domestic lines, whose overall traffic could return equivalent to that reached in 2019 at the end of the year. On the other hand, on international services, the difference with the pre-crisis level would remain around 48% at 42%.

As Les Échos points out, several markets could exceed their level of 2019, in number of passengers, and return to real growth like the South American and North American domestic markets. It is also envisaged that all air transport across the Atlantic will once again become profitable in 2022, specifies the consulting firm IBA. Europe will have to wait 2023.

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