The International Air Transport Association recently forecasted a sharp reduction for global airlines in industry losses for 2022 amid the industry’s attempt to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. This reduction in losses is a positive sign that the airline industries truly are working towards a quick recovery after experiencing huge losses since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020.
The International Air Transport Association forecasted that losses for 2020 would be around $11.6 billion. Meanwhile, it was projected that the industry would experience $51.8 billion in losses this year, in 2021. These losses were increased from the initial projection of $47.7 billion. However, this projection increase could be a result of the economic slowdown and rampant spread of COVID-19 infections, both of which have recently hindered how consumers willingly travel.
When it comes to the airline companies in the United States, airlines are expected to do quite well, possibly because these companies tend to have fewer restrictions than some of their European and global counterparts. Therefore, it has been forecasted that airlines in North America will actually return to profit next year, a huge positive for the economies in these regions. However, all airlines in all regions are globally expected to do better in 2022 than they did in 2020 and 2021.
Airlines still have great worries to deal with, especially as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. However, the IATA does believe that the industry is past the most difficult part of the pandemic. If the Delta variant continues to spread — or other variants take it place — and the COVID-19 pandemic never really goes away as initially thought, then airlines around the world will have to find out how to best work within these issues. However, even with all these issues, the IATA believes that the path towards recovery is among them.
The IATA also expects international travel demand to increase next year and reach about 44% of what it was in 2019, double what it was this year. Of course, how the pandemic is faring will affect how people travel. Governments still have border restrictions because of the pandemic, regulating how people travel to and from different countries around the world, so this may continue to hinder how people willingly travel.
When it comes to the United States, there are signs that the economy is slowing down because of the Delta variant. Consumers aren’t confident as they once were, which has lead to less money being put back into the economy. Travel-related industries, such as airlines and hotels, have also suffered because of the increase in cases around the nation.
However, there are positive signs that the pandemic may be slowing down again. If more vaccinations are completed, and if cases begin to drop yet again, then people may feel more confident to travel as they once did. Much like earlier in the year, the airline industry will likely have to roll with the punches and keep up with the changing tides of the pandemic to accurately work with consumers.