The aviation industry expects to return to profitability in the coming year. According to the industry association IATA, airlines are likely to still make losses worldwide in 2022. (Iconic image)
In 2023, however, the industry’s total surplus of around USD 4.7 billion will only be a fraction of the USD 26.4 billion in 2019, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced in Geneva on Tuesday.
The recovery in aviation is progressing differently in individual regions of the world: while the airlines in North America are already in the black this year, IATA in Latin America and Asia is still expecting losses in 2023.
For the year 2022, which is coming to an end, IATA is now expecting a global industry loss of 6.9 billion dollars, almost three billion less than predicted in June. Compared to the first two Corona years, this is a significant improvement. In 2020, the industry had posted a loss of almost $138 billion, a year later the shortfall was $42 billion.
After international travel restrictions almost paralyzed global air traffic at the beginning of the pandemic, business has since recovered quite a bit. IATA estimates that passenger traffic for airlines from North America should already reach a good 97 percent of the pre-crisis level of 2019 in the coming year. In Europe, on the other hand, it would probably be just under 89 percent.
Accordingly, the association already expects a profit of 9.9 billion dollars for the North American airlines for 2022 – and predicts an increase to 11.4 billion dollars for 2023.
Airlines from Europe, on the other hand, are likely to still be flying a loss of 3.1 billion dollars this year – and next year they will only just be in the black with an estimated 621 million dollars. According to the forecast, the airlines from the Middle East will only just make it into the black in 2023.
For the Asia-Pacific region, the association predicts a loss of 10 billion dollars for 2022. In the coming year, too, the companies there are likely to lose a total of 6.6 billion dollars. The IATA explains its assessment with the still restrictive corona policy in China. IATA also expects losses for airlines in Latin America and Africa in 2023.
Despite the positive trend, IATA boss Willie Walsh pointed to challenges for aviation. With expected revenues of $779 billion next year, the projected profit margin would be only 0.6 percent. “There is still a lot to be done to put the global industry on a solid financial footing,” he said. Many airlines are struggling with high costs, bureaucracy and poor infrastructure.