The outlook for the number of domestic travelers is slightly more pessimistic than in November. While the US and Russian domestic markets have recovered, the same is not true for the other major domestic markets of China, Canada, Japan and Australia.

Not all markets or market sectors recover at the same rate.

The outlook for passenger traffic in Africa is somewhat weaker in the near term, due to slow progress in vaccinating the population and the impact of the crisis on developing economies. Passenger numbers to/from/within Africa will recover more gradually than in other regions, reaching 76% of 2019 levels in 2022, only surpassing pre-crisis levels in 2025 (101%).

With limited short-haul markets, the Middle East’s focus on long-haul connectivity through its hubs is expected to lead to a slower recovery. Passenger numbers to/from/within the Middle East are expected to reach 81% of 2019 levels in 2022, 98% in 2024 and 105% in 2025.

The forecasts do not calculate the impact of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. In general, air transport is resilient to shocks and this conflict is unlikely to have an impact on the long-term growth of air transport, according to information shared by IATA. It is too early to estimate what the short-term consequences will be for aviation, but it is clear that there are downside risks, particularly in conflict-prone markets.

Sensitivity factors will include the geographic extent, severity and duration of sanctions and/or airspace closures. These impacts would be felt the hardest in Russia, Ukraine and neighboring regions. Prior to COVID-19, Russia was the 11th largest market for air transport services in terms of passenger numbers, including its vast domestic market. Ukraine ranked 48th.