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When Will Aviation Recover?

· Aviation

Air sector to return to pre-pandemic levels by 2022

Belo Investment Research Research shows that full recovery should occur in July 2023

Chile, France, Italy, United Kingdom, United States, and Spain should return to the number of air travel passengers observed in 2019 in the first half of 2022. Argentina and Portugal will take longer to recover fully, occurring in 2023 and 2024, respectively.

In Europe, the number of passengers traveling by air at the end of 2022 will be only 8% lower than that registered in 2019. In the Americas, this percentage difference will be even smaller, only 3%.

The number of passengers on air travel, predicted from "alternative data" such as people's mobility and tendency to search for flights on the Internet, and "high-frequency data" such as vaccination, brings numbers that are a little better than it suggests UNWTO. The United Nations agency responsible for promoting responsible, sustainable, and universally accessible tourism states in the World Tourism Barometer report, released in July, that "almost half of the experts do not see a return to international tourism levels observed in 2019 before 2024 or after".

However, restrictions on travelers and the lack of coordination in travel health protocols continue to delay the sector's recovery, which should be faster than the UNWTO predicts.

A study by Belo Investment Research predicts that the full recovery of air travel passenger numbers observed in 2019 will occur during the summer in the northern hemisphere in July 2023. There is already a continuous and consistent growth in the number of passengers from air travel in the last three semesters.

On the one hand, the 68% drop in air travel passengers in 2020 compared to 2019 negatively surprised the sector. On the other hand, the number of passengers in 2021 compared to 2020 should grow 57%, representing a level 50% lower than 2019. In 2022, the growth compared to 2021 should be even greater, reaching 86%. Thereby, the number of passengers will be only 6% lower than that observed in 2019.

Director of Strategy at Belo Investment Research, Rafael Foscarini attributes this higher number of air travel passengers to four factors. Factor one, the decrease in the transmissibility of COVID-19 observed with the evolution of the number of people with complete vaccination. 

Factor two, the increase in economic activity observed from the greater mobility of people in stores, transport stations, and the workplace. Factor three, the increased interest in air travel observed from the search for flights on the Internet. 

Factor four, the increase in the number of air travel passengers observed between March and August 2021. During this period, air travel passengers showed an average growth of 5.9% per month.

The Director of Belo Investment Research explains that "countries have adopted very different containment, control, and vaccination strategies. Countries that adopted stricter measures and anticipated vaccination are showing more pronounced increases in the number of air travel passengers".

Foscarini also explains that "alternative" and "high frequency" data capture the latest trends in what is happening in the daily lives of people around the world, make forecasts more accurate and contribute to the planning of flight offers by companies benefiting the people who use the aviation service. 

Belo Investment Research

Belo Investment Research is an independent research company that combines traditional and alternative data to analyze market trends since 2016.

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