The international travel body predicted that international travel may not return to normal until 2024.
The International Air Transport Association had previously estimated that travel would not return to pre-COVID-19 levels for at least three years, however it has now stretched prognostics.
“The return of global passenger traffic to pre-COVID-19 levels is now delayed by a year, to 2024,” IATA stated.
“As international travel remains limited, the recovery for global passenger traffic has been slower than expected.”
In 2020, global passenger numbers are expected to shrink by 55 per cent compared to 2019. Initial forecasts in April had predicted a 46 per cent drop, however the recovery will be slower than initially predicted.
Figures for June were 86.5 per cent lower than the same period last year, whereas in May they were slashed by 91 per cent.
IATA CEO Alexandre de Juniac said that a vaccine would help speed up the return to normalcy, however closed borders and lockdowns have not helped.
Domestic travel would return faster, however COVID-19 has caused huge problems for airlines around the world.
“Airlines are planning their schedules. They need to keep sharply focused on meeting demand and not meeting slot rules that were never meant to accommodate the sharp fluctuations of a crisis,” he said.