Int’l Aviation Agency Expects Air Travel to Return to Pre-Pandemic Levels in 2023

The UN aviation agency issued on Wednesday a forecast projecting that demand for commercial travel will make a full recovery in 2023, with volumes likely to exceed the level of 2019 by the end of the year.

According to the International Civil Aviation Organization, demand will return to pre-pandemic levels on most routes by the end of the first quarter this year, and it will exceed the levels of 2019 by about 3% by the end of 2023. This will be a “complete and sustainable” recovery, said the ICAO.

In 2024, it is anticipated that the demand for airline seats will be 4% higher than the level it was at before the pandemic.

The ICAO stated that air passenger counts in 2022 have reached 74% of pre-pandemic levels, with passenger revenues expected to be 68% of 2019 levels. AIt also revealed that the number of air passengers carried in 2022 was up 47% from the previous year.

Between 2019 and 2020, the number of international airline passengers dropped by 60% as the Covid-19 pandemic wreaked havoc on commercial air travel.

ICAO projects that worldwide airlines would lose $372 billion in 2020 due to a drop in demand, and another $324 billion in 2021.

The newest forecast from the ICAO however, predicts that airlines will once again see operating profits in the fourth quarter of 2023.