IATA: Outlook for international travel ‘depends critically on the vaccination rollout’

    IATA, via its Apr-2021 Airline Industry Economic Performance report, stated (21-Apr-2021) the outlook for international air travel “depends critically on the vaccination rollout” and IATA now expects much more limited summer flying during 2021. The pace of the rollout is variable, with slow rollouts particularly in developing economies. The high risk and healthcare population in Europe and North America are expected to be fully vaccinated by Jul-2021. This should “in principle” allow markets between these countries to be opened for international travel, although it is not clear whether in practice that governments will allow this or will wait for a larger proportion of the population to be vaccinated. Projections are that by Oct-2021, 75% of the population in these countries will have been vaccinated. If governments wait until that point then the key summer period for generating cash from holiday flights will have been missed. as shown in the chart above by the reduction in the forecast for the third quarter, relative to expectations in Dec-2020. IATA has reduced its forecast for 2021 RPKs from 51% of pre-crisis levels to 43% of pre-crisis levels. [more – original PR]

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