Passenger planes take off over the sun at sunset in Málaga, southern Spain, on August 3, 2018. Reuters / John Nazca / Files
October 6, 2021
By Rajesh Kumar Singh and Tim Hepfer
BOSTON (Reuters) – Tuesday global airlines ended their first meeting as COVID-19 took a toll on the industry.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA), a grouping of 290 airlines, said the turmoil of travel restrictions has hampered the industry’s fragile recovery, as the pandemic plunged air travel into its worst recession ever Is. ..
“People want to fly. We’ve seen strong evidence of that,” said Executive Secretary Willie Walsh. “They can’t fly because of restrictions that prevent them from traveling abroad.”
IATA expects foreign travel to double next year, reaching 44% of the pre-crisis levels of 2019, compared to the depressed levels seen during the pandemic. In contrast, domestic travel is tipped to reach 93% of pre-pandemic levels.
Industry groups, including dozens of state-owned airlines, have blamed a variety of immigration and testing requirements gaps in the top 50 air travel markets.
Even some airline and leasing company leaders trying to attend the industry’s annual rally in Boston could not travel or had to spend extra time in quarantine.
Airlines have called for a lifting of restrictions on vaccinated passengers and an end to common health protocols at the border, but global coordination in aviation moves at a deliberate pace.
“Frankly, the government didn’t make it easy for airlines and passengers to understand flight rules,” said JetBlue president Joanna Gerati. told.
Nevertheless, the head of the Emirate of Dubai, one of the fastest officials on the outlook for recovery after the end of regulation, said bookings “increased sharply” in reopened markets such as the United Kingdom and the United States. Rice field.
“This reflects the bow wave of demand that we see everywhere,” said its president, Tim Clark. “The demand for air travel will recover sooner or later.”
the atlantic test
The airline was backed by plans by the Biden administration to reopen the United States in November, bringing passengers from 33 countries, including Europe, on important voyages across the Atlantic.
However, Boston left the rally when the airline arrived and the balance sheet was very strained. Clark said most avoid taking risks and focus on amassing cash for a few years.
Responding to airport and other supplier dissatisfaction for not doing enough to share the pain caused by the crisis, IATA warned that serious challenges remain for airlines. Down.
The White House hasn’t set a date for lifting the European travel ban, but JetBlue expects it to happen before next month’s US Thanksgiving holiday.
“Delays in restarting will affect the entire industry,” said Robin Hayes, CEO Robin Hayes, who will achieve net zero emissions in 2050 after chairing the meeting on October 3-5. He said that he has agreed to the target.
United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby said last week he had more reservations for transatlantic flights than during the same period in 2019.
Aircap, the world’s largest leasing company, said if the world’s most important long-distance market successfully reopens, other markets will follow.
“Airlines … they don’t have the elasticity,” CEO Angus Kelly told an audience of airline leaders. “They can’t afford to get it wrong.”
(Reporting by Rajesh Kumar Singh and Tim Heffer, edited by Bill Berkrot)