Airlines expect 4.7 billion passengers in 2024, a “historic record”

Airlines expect to carry 4

Airlines expect 4.7 billion passengers in 2024, a “historic record”

Airlines expect to carry 4.7 billion passengers worldwide next year, a “historic record”, surpassing the 4.54 billion in 2019, before the Covid-19 health crisis, announced on Wednesday December 6, their main organization.

By this year, carriers will have erased the effects of Covid-19 from their accounts, returning to the green with cumulative net profits of $23.3 billion (€21.6 billion), according to the International Transport Association. air transport (IATA), which more than doubled its previous projections of 9.8 billion (9 billion euros), published last June.

The organization forecast 4.29 billion air trips this year, a slight downward revision from the 4.35 billion flights announced in June. For 2024, profits are expected to “largely stabilize” at $25.7 billion (€23.8 billion), according to IATA, on an unprecedented global turnover of $964 billion (€893 billion). euros), compared to the estimated 896 (830 in euros) for 2023 and the 838 billion (776 billion euros) for 2019.

An economic sector among the most affected by the health crisis, due to border closures and other travel restrictions, airlines suffered cumulative losses of $183 billion (€169.5 billion) between 2020 and 2022. “Given the massive losses of recent years”, the expected profits in 2024 “illustrate the resilience of the aviation sector”, underlined IATA Director General Willie Walsh, welcoming the “extraordinary pace of recovery” .

Nevertheless, “it appears that the pandemic has cost the sector four years of growth,” Mr. Walsh remarked during a “press day” at his organization’s headquarters in Geneva. “From 2024 onwards, forecasts show that we can expect more normal growth trajectories for both passengers and freight,” according to the CEO.

The strong recovery in 2023 has resulted in high ticket prices as travel demand outstrips airline capacity constrained by delayed aircraft deliveries and other operational challenges. Without looking back, this trend seems likely to slow down in 2024, according to IATA. At the same time, plane occupancy rates have already returned to their pre-crisis level.