A survey from the International Air Transport Association has found that 60 per cent of recent travellers anticipate a return to travel within one or two months of containment of the COVID-19 pandemic.
On the flip side of that coin, the remaining 40 per cent indicated that they could wait six months or more, while 69 per cent indicated that they could delay a return to travel until their personal financial situation stabilises.
IATA chief executive Alexandre de Juniac expects to see domestic travel lead the way as countries begin to get on top of the virus, followed by regional and then intercontinental travel as governments progressively remove restrictions.
“In some economies, the spread of COVID-19 has slowed to the point where governments are planning to lift the most severe elements of social distancing restrictions,” Mr de Juniac said. “But an immediate rebound from the catastrophic fall in passenger demand appears unlikely.
“People still want to travel. But they are telling us that they want clarity on the economic situation and will likely wait for at least a few months after any ‘all clear’ before returning to the skies.
“As countries lift restrictions, confidence boosting measures will be critical to restart travel and stimulate economies,” said Mr de Juniac.
“The passenger business came to a halt with unilateral government actions to stop the spread of the virus.
“The industry restart, however, must be built with trust and collaboration. And it must be guided by the best science we have available. Time is of the essence.
“We must start building a framework for a global approach that will give people the confidence that they need to travel once again. And, of course, this will need to be shored up by economic stimulus measures to combat the impact of a recession,” said Mr de Juniac.
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