The COVID-19 pandemic halted the holiday plans of thousands of Australians, and now it looks that putting those plans back in place could take up to three years. Alexandre de Juniac, chief executive of the International Air Transport Association (IATA), revealed on ABC News Breakfast on May 14, that normal travel would likely not resume until 2023.
“We have published today a new forecast about the potential recovery of the air traffic," he explained. "And what we see is that things should come back to normal in 2023, which is later than our previous forecast."
“What we have planned is to restart the industry, first by reopening domestic markets, then regional continental markets, such as Asia-Pacific, or Europe, or North America," Mr de Juniac continued. “At the end of 2020, the traffic should be between 50 to 55 per cent of the same level that was in place in 2019. So, we would lose something like half the traffic for 2020.”
Some international travel may restart next year, but it won't return to 'normal' for at least another three.
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While international travel may be off the cards, Scott Morrison and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern are reportedly working on a 'trans-Tasman travel bubble' between the two countries.
A joint statement read: “Once we have established effective travel arrangements across the Tasman, we will also explore opportunities to expand the concept to members of our broader Pacific family, enabling travel between Australia, New Zealand and Pacific island countries."