The world’s leading travel body has said that it doesn’t believe international air travel will ever recover fully from the COVID-19 pandemic and the level of travel for passengers won’t return to previous levels until 2024.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said that Australia was one of the most affect domestic in the world and won’t recover ss quickly.

The associations aid the uncertainty over border re-openings was the main reason they don’t think travel will return to normal for some time.

The forecast is a year later than previously predicted by the IATA.

“Passenger traffic hit bottom in April, but the strength of the upturn has been very weak. What improvement we have seen has been domestic flying. International markets remain largely closed,” IATA chief executive Alexandre de Juniac said.

“Consumer confidence is depressed and not helped by the UK’s weekend decision to impose a blanket quarantine on all travellers returning from Spain. And in many parts of the world infections are still rising.

“All of this points to a longer recovery period and more pain for the industry and the global economy.”


The IATA said there were some demands for leisure travel as people look to try and visit their family and friends.

For 2020, global passenger numbers are expected to decline by 55 per cent compared to 2019, worsened from the April forecast of 46 per cent.

Mr de Juniac said, currently, international traffic was “virtually non-existent”.