Updated COVID-19 economic impact analysis published by ACI World
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, updated ACI World analysis has found that airport revenues will experience a total reduction of $111.8 billion in 2020.
Airports Council International (ACI) World has published its fifth COVID-19 economic impact analysis, which reveals the devastating effect on the airport industry and the prospects for recovery.
The advisory bulletin, ‘The impact of COVID-19 on the airport business’, reveals that the global airport industry will record a reduction of more than 6 billion passengers by the end of 2020 compared to the pre-COVID-19 forecast for the year, representing a decline of 64.2 per cent of global passenger traffic.
Europe and the Middle East are predicted to be the two most impacted regions, with declines of over 70 per cent when compared to the projected baseline. Asia-Pacific has embarked on recovery earlier and faster than other regions and is forecasted to close 2020 with a decline of 59.2 per cent, which was driven by large domestic markets, such as China. Asia-Pacific is the only region recording a decline below 60 per cent.
The airport industry was expected to generate about $172 billion during 2020, but the COVID-19 crisis‘ impact on airport revenues will result in a reduction of $111.8 billion (or 65 per cent in losses compared to the pre-COVID-19 forecast).
ACI World has developed scenarios exploring the potential recovery trajectory and, under the baseline scenario, domestic passenger traffic is expected to recover to 2019 levels by 2023, with the recovery of international passenger traffic following in 2024.
ACI World’s Director General, Luis Felipe de Oliveira, said: “The pandemic has resulted in a full-scale transportation crisis, with aviation brought to a virtual halt in April 2020 following lockdowns imposed in many countries in the second half of March 2020. We are now seeing some positive signs and prospects are slightly better for recovery, but there is still a long way to go. One thing is certain, the world will be different after this pandemic.”
“Recent announcements of successful vaccine trials are offering hope for a sustained recovery, but vaccination campaigns will take time, and the industry needs government assistance and policy support now to lay a solid foundation for recovery. A consistent approach to testing should be implemented now to promote travel and do away with restrictive quarantine measures, with a coordinated and risk-based approach to combining testing and vaccination introduced going forward. Tests and vaccines together will play a key role on the industry recovery, providing passengers with a safe travel environment and foster confidence in air travel.”
ACI World also found that, in the long run, it is predicted that global traffic may take up to two decades to return to previously projected traffic levels.