The plane maker Boeing says it expects that it will take another two and a half years for global aviation to return to pre-pandemic levels.
Its vice president of commercial marketing, Darren Hulst, said: “The industry recovers to 2019 levels of traffic by the end of 2023, early 2024” and domestic flying would be at the forefront of any recovery.
Long-haul international routes would take the longest to recover, according to Boeing’s forecast, partly because of government restrictions.
Boeing says these will need to be eased to enable “the recovery of the pent up demand that exists already in the marketplace”.
Last year, passenger numbers fell 60% to 1.8 billion and the industry lost $126bn, according to the airline body IATA, which said it was the worst year on record.
Boeing says that the strength of the global economy is key to recovering from the slump.
Using data from IHS Economics it says that “the global economy is actually trending back towards where it would have been had the virus not actually happened”.