Global airlines are predicting their first industry-wide profit next year since 2019 as air travel rebounds from COVID-19 restrictions.
Airlines lost tens of billions of dollars in 2020 and 2021 during the pandemic, but air travel has partially recovered. In a new report, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said it now expects a net profit of $4.7 billion for the global industry next year, with more than 4 billion passengers set to fly. It had previously said only that profits were “within reach” in 2023. For 2022, IATA narrowed its forecast for industry-wide losses to $6.9 billion from $9.7 billion.
Passenger demand is expected to reach 85.5% of 2019 levels over the course of 2023. Revenues are expected to be $249.4 billion, which is $52 billion less than 2022 but still $48.6 billion stronger than 2019.
North America is set to lead the charge posting the greatest profits, followed by Europe and the Middle East. COVID-19 restrictions in China, however, could continue to weigh on travel demand in the Asia-Pacific region, which alongside Latin America is forecast to record additional losses next year.