It’s been a slow recovery for the aviation industry since the pandemic began, but Boeing says they expect air travel to fully rebound to 2019 levels by 2024.
2020 was the worst year for the record for the industry. According to the airline body International Air Transport Association (IATA), passenger numbers fell 60% to 1.8 billion, and the industry lost $126bn.
Boeing’s annual forecast shows signs of a recovery following the devastating impacts of Covid-19.
Boeing Predicts Aviation Industry Will Recover To 2019 Levels By 2024
Boeing, the world’s leading manufacturer of commercial jetliners, has released its annual forecast for the commercial, defense, and space aerospace market.
The Boeing Market Outlook (BMO) states that commercial airplanes and services are showing signs of recovery, while the global defense, space and government services markets have remained stable.
“As our industry recovers and continues to adapt to meet new global needs, we remain confident in long-term growth for aerospace,” said Boeing’s chief strategy officer, Marc Allen.
“We are encouraged by the fact that scientists have delivered vaccines more rapidly than imaginable and that passengers are demonstrating strong confidence in airplane travel.”
The company predicted that the aerospace market will be worth $9 trillion over the next decade, up from Boeing’s prediction of $8.5 trillion last year and $8.7 trillion in 2019, before the pandemic crushed demand for airline jets.
“We lost about two years of growth,” said Darren Hulst, Boeing vice president of commercial marketing. “However, we see recovery to pre-virus levels by the end of 2023 or early 2024.”
Boeing officials say the last year shows that air travel can rebound quickly.
An average of 1.85 million passengers boarded planes in the U.S. each a day in August, up from about 700,000 per day last year, almost reaching 2019 levels during labor day weekend despite the CDC asking unvaccinated travelers to stay home.
Demand for domestic air travel is leading the recovery, with intra-regional markets expected to follow as health and travel restrictions ease, followed by long-haul travel’s return to pre-pandemic levels by 2023 to 2024.
In the U.S. and around the world, domestic air travel is picking up faster than cross-border travel, as many countries still have restrictions in place, causing high barriers to international travel.
According to IATA, global domestic travel was 84% of 2019 levels in July, but international travel was only 26%.
Boeing says government restrictions will need to be eased to enable “the recovery of the pent-up demand that exists already in the marketplace.”
Even with restrictions in place, Boeing is confident in the recovery of the industry in the future. Passenger traffic growth is projected to increase by an average of 4% per year, unchanged from Boeing’s last year’s forecast.
“The aerospace industry has made important progress in the recovery, and Boeing’s 2021 forecast reflects our confidence in the resilience of the market,” said Stan Deal, president, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
“While we remain realistic about ongoing challenges, the past year has shown that passenger traffic rebounds swiftly when the flying public and governments have confidence in health and safety during air travel.”
“Our industry continues to serve an essential role of bringing people together and transporting critical supplies.”