The global aviation industry will lose USD 201 billion between 2020 and 2022 due to the COVID-19 crisis before returning to profitability in 2023, said Willie Walsh, Director General of global airlines body IATA.
"We are past the deepest point of the crisis. While serious issues remain, the path to recovery is coming into view," Walsh said during his speech here at the 77th annual general meeting of International Air Transport Association (IATA) on Monday.
He stated that nearly two years after the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, there is no rationale for blanket border restrictions imposed by various governments. We are seeing improvements in finances, he stated.
"We expect 2021 losses to be nearly USD 52 billion -- cut dramatically from the USD 138 billion lost in 2020. Losses will further reduce in 2022 -- to about USD 12 billion. In total, the COVID-19 crisis will cost aviation USD 201 billion in losses before we return to profitability in 2023," he added. Around 70 per cent of pre-Covid domestic flights are being operated within India right now.
According to aviation industry sources, just around 20 per cent of pre-Covid international flights are being operated from India right now. Scheduled international passenger flights have been suspended in India since March 23, 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, special flights have been permitted under "air bubble" arrangements India has formed with approximately 28 countries.
Walsh said: "It is also clear that digital health credentials -- documentation of vaccination or testing status -- will be needed as borders re-open. Experience even at today's low levels of travel tells us that there will be chaos in airports if we rely on paper processes."
Europe has made a good start, he stated. "The EU Digital Covid Certificate (EU DCC) is an efficient and reliable standard to record test and vaccination status. If governments are looking for a standard to follow, this is our recommendation," he added.