In hindsight, our prediction probably answered the wrong question, because the key driver of renewed profitability and future investment in commercial aviation isn’t the recovery of airline traffic, but revenue. The many changes to business and long-haul travel make revenue more difficult to forecast, but it will clearly be even slower to return than traffic.
Most industry forecasts don’t call for airline traffic to fully recover until 2024 or 2025, even if large domestic markets recover sooner. That means airline revenue – and profitability – will still be hampered until late this decade.
Advanced and developed economies are on widely divergent economic trajectories.
Global travel recovery statistics are distorted by a couple of large domestic markets.
Vaccine rollout and documentation issues are likely to keep borders closed for longer.
Revenue recovery matters more than volume, both to airlines and the aviation supply chain.