Airports Council International (ACI World) has published its fourth Covid-19 economic impact analysis bulletin, with the industry predicted to record a $104.5 billion reduction in revenue for 2020.

Describing the period as one of “Vanishing traffic, collapsing revenues, and rising risk”, the organisation said that the airport industry is anticipating a 59.6 per cent reduction in passenger volumes compared with pre Covid-19 projections.

Revenues are expected to be down 60 per cent on projections, with a decline of $10.3 billion and $39.5 billion in the first and second quarters respectively, and predicted figures of -$33.4 billion and -$21.1 billion in the third and fourth quarters.

ACI World also warned that there was “a significant level of uncertainty surrounding the recovery trajectory”, with monthly traffic expected to reach anywhere between 27 per cent and 60 per cent of the projected baseline by December.

Passenger traffic volumes are not expected to recover to 2019 levels before 2023, and markets with “significant international traffic” will not recover until 2024, the organisation said.

ACI World recently launched a new app enabling passengers to find out information about the health measures in place at individual airports worldwide, in a bid to help demonstrate that health and safety is the industry’s number one priority.

New app provides passengers with information on airport health measures

Last month the Council also called on governments to consider replacing blanket quarantine requirements with “robust testing” programmes for travellers.

Commenting on the analysis ACI World Director General Luis Felipe de Oliveira said:

“Airports are key drivers of economic development but, without any support from governments and with $104 billion in losses because of the devastating impact of the pandemic on aviation, it is now the time to come together to support recovery. Aviation will be central to the global economic recovery, delivering connectivity, trade, tourism, jobs, prosperity and growth.

“As air transport has always been an industry based on the interdependence of all its parts, the Covid-19 crisis devastated all stakeholders—from aircraft manufacturers and travel agents to retailers in airports—and resulted in job losses, business shutdowns, bankruptcies, and other instances of economic devastation.

“Beyond the immediate and apparent damages, the global economy has been hit hard by the loss of the benefits arising from air transportation activity. Indeed, according to the Air Transport Action Group (ATAG), as of 2018, aviation supports 65.5 million jobs worldwide and enables $2.7 trillion in global GDP.

“The recovery of air travel is crucial in the wider global economic recovery but, to succeed, it will need passengers to have confidence in the industry’s focus on their health and welfare.”