While the current lockdowns imposed by governments are a concern for the industry, a higher vaccine curve and faster PCR testing could ease travel restrictions and unlock pent-up travel demand, Tony Douglas, chief executive of Etihad Aviation Group, told The National.
“As we get into the summer months, unless vaccine programs slow down or there is a flaw in the strategy, things will start to tip back into the right direction in a whole bunch of countries”, said Mr. Douglas. “Further, I do not expect air travel to return to pre-crisis levels until 2023”.
Full-year passenger revenue dropped 74 per cent to $1.2bn as the airline carried 4.2 million people, down from 17.4 million in 2019, the carrier said on Thursday. That was due to lower demand, fewer scheduled flights and the UAE’s suspension of passenger services in late March to curb the spread of the virus, Etihad said.
The aviation industry is among the worst-hit sectors during the Covid-19 crisis, forcing airlines to cut thousands of jobs, ground aircraft and seek government aid.
Source: The National News