International recovery; building a shock proof international travel network

Challenges on the path to recovery and sustainability requirements aside, domestic air travel is now on par with pre-pandemic levels and international recovery is on a positive path.

Regional variation remains with Latin America leading the way and reaching 2019 levels during 3Q 2022, followed by North America, Africa and the Middle East. In Europe the recovery has plateaued and now entering seasonal autumnal decline, while Asia Pacific remains the laggard, due mainly to slow border reopenings and strong anti-COVID restrictions in major markets such as Japan and China.

Summer 2022 has certainly seen more of a focus on international recovery and a familiarity returning to airline networks. Now lessons must be learned for the future to build a shock proof international travel network.

COVID-19 and previous pandemics such as Swine flu and SARS, have shown how vulnerable global air transport is being to disrupted by health crises. While the industry – and the wider world – may not have been adequately prepared for the pandemic, history warns us that it won’t be the last time such an issue arrives.

Repeated studies by the aviation sector, global health organisations and experts have shown that shutting down air travel actually had little positive public health impact.

  • How does the aviation sector partner with governments, NGOs and trans-national organisations to build a system that is resilient to future pandemics?

  • What processes need to be put in place to ensure global connectivity and mobility can be maintained in the event of a future health crisis?

  • Never let a good crisis go to waste. Has the pandemic provided the hard stop required to reset the air transport industry?

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