New Zealand international air travel may not recover for five years – Forsyth Barr [NZH, 09/05/21]

New Zealand’s international air travel market is unlikely to recover to pre-pandemic levels for five years, say analysts at Forsyth Barr.

In a report into the transport sector, they say domestic travel, which has already bounced back, would take until 2024 to match the same passenger numbers as in 2019.

Analysts Andy Bowley and Scott Anderson say there will be a permanent hit to passenger numbers.

“Added hassles, higher costs, and the apathy to travel among certain population cohorts means that propensity to fly will decline as a result of Covid-19.”

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Separately analysts at the International Air Transport Association (IATA) forecast that despite the Covid vaccines and testing procedures rolling out worldwide, the recovery of demand for air travel globally would take several years and would not reach the pre-crisis levels before 2024.

In this country, Forsyth Barr says while passenger levels will ultimately return to 2019 financial year levels by 2026, total passengers will be 22 per cent lower for international and 18 per cent lower for domestic compared to the level of passengers suggested by historic trend growth had Covid-19 never happened.

The Covid crisis has sent 44 airlines into administration or out of business, according to international aircraft valuation firm IBA in a separate report.

Read on the NZH website here.

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