(MENAFN- Jordan Times)
GENEVA- The airline industry will return to profitability in 2023 as the recovery from the COVID-19 crisis continues, IATA Director General Willie Walsh said Tuesday.
IATA expects a net profit of $4.7 billion for the industry in 2023, with more than 4 billion passengers expected to fly.
The North America region will be the main driver of the profitability in 2023, Walsh said at the release of IATA's forecast for next year.
He added that small profits are expected in Europe and Middle East regions. Asia-Pacific market is expected to remain in the losses zone along with Latin America and Africa.
“I am optimistic going into 2023...the headwinds we foresee are significant but they are business-as-usual headwinds and we have seen these crises before,” he said Tuesday.
“We have already seen a strong recovery and recovery remains on track despite headwinds and we expect industry to recover to 2019 figures in 2024,” Walsh added.
Recovery in the Middle East“is stronger than other markets,” he said.
According to IATA, airlines lost tens of billions of dollars in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic but air travel has partially recovered.
For 2022, IATA said the industry losses would be around $6.9 billion in 2022.
The forecast of profitability is a“great achievement” for the industry in light of the financial and economic damage that has been witnessed due to pandemic-related travel restrictions over the past three years.
IATA said that its forecast is based on a gradual reopening of China to international traffic and the easing of domestic zero-COVID restrictions.
IATA forecasts that global passenger demand is expected to reach 85.5% of 2019 levels in 2023, from an estimation of 70.6% in 2022.
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