Airports Council International (ACI) World has published its fifth Covid-19 economic impact analysis, revealing the industry will record a reduction of six billion passengers by the end of 2020 compared with the pre-Covid forecast, representing a decline of 64.2% of global passenger traffic.
According to the Advisory Bulletin, The impact of COVID-19 on the airport business, the regions of Europe and the Middle East are predicted to feel most impact with declines of more than 70% compared with the projected baseline. Asia-Pacific is the only region recording a decline of less than 60% and is forecasted to close the year with a decline of 59.2% (see Table 1 below).
The airport industry was expected to generate about US$172bn this year but the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on airport revenues will result in a reduction of US$111.8bn, or -65% compared with the pre-Covid-19 forecast (see Table 2 below).
ACI World has developed scenarios exploring the potential recovery trajectory and, under the baseline scenario, domestic passenger traffic is expected to recover to 2019 levels by 2023 with the recovery of international passenger traffic following in 2024.
“The pandemic has resulted in a full-scale transportation crisis with aviation brought to a virtual halt in April following the lockdowns imposed in many countries in the second half of March,” said Luis Felipe de Oliveira, ACI World director general. “We are now seeing some positive signs and prospects are slightly better for recovery, but there is still a long way to go. One thing is certain: the world will be different after this pandemic.
“Recent announcements of successful vaccine trials are offering hope for a sustained recovery, but vaccination campaigns will take time and the industry needs government assistance and policy support now to lay a solid foundation for recovery.
“A consistent approach to testing should be implemented now to promote travel and do away with restrictive quarantine measures, and a coordinated and risk-based approach to combining testing and vaccination introduced going forward. Tests and vaccines together will play a key role in the industry recovery, providing passengers with a safe travel environment and fostering confidence in air travel.”
ACI World also found that, in the long run, it is predicted that the global traffic could take up to two decades to return to previously projected traffic levels.