Air Travel Forecast: When Will Airlines Recover from Covid-19?

The spread of the Covid-19 Omicron variant continues to weaken global air traffic, but demand is projected to improve over the course of 2022.

In May 2020, we began making regular forecasts of how soon aviation demand would recover from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, based on several potential scenarios and the latest information.

Here are the latest developments as of January 2022.

The Covid-19 Omicron variant’s surge continues to stall the travel recovery. We’re now projecting global airline revenue for 2022 to reach $432 billion in the baseline recovery scenario, representing 65% of 2019’s revenue (see panel 1 above). By the end of the year, global air travel demand could recover to 84% of 2019 levels in the baseline scenario
We anticipate intraregional travel to pick up in Europe and North America during the spring and summer, similar to the pattern in 2020 and 2021
Projected market and financial information, analyses, and conclusions are based (unless sourced otherwise) on external information and Bain & Company’s judgment. They are intended as a guide only and should not be construed as definitive forecasts or guarantees of future performance or results. No responsibility or liability whatsoever is accepted by any person, including Bain & Company, Inc. or its affiliates and their respective officers, employees, or agents, for any errors or omissions.

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