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Asia’s air carriers last to revive from Covid-19

SEOUL – Asia was the first region in the world to enter the Covid-19 era, and could be the last to exit it if airline recovery is any indicator.

Asia-Pacific airlines will not resume their 2019 capacities until 2025, predicted Philip Goh, a regional vice-president of the International Air Transport Association, or IATA, a global airline trade association. That compares poorly with other economically developed areas.

North American airlines will pass that milestone in 2023, while European airlines, and the rest of the global sector, will catch up in 2024, said Goh. By that year air passenger annual numbers will hit 4 billion, he estimated.

IATA anticipates global passenger numbers in 2022 to hit 83% of 2019 figures and 94% in 2023. The sector’s corner will be turned the following year when the numbers will shift to 103% in 2024, and 111% in 2025.