No return to pre-crisis air traffic before 2023 - IATA

PARIS/DUBLIN, May 13 (Reuters) - Airline passenger traffic is not expected to return to pre-crisis levels until 2023 at the earliest and may suffer even more if new health rules impose an excessive cost burden, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said.

“Covid’s effects on air travel are certainly going to last a number of years with no quick rebound to 2019 levels,” the global airline body’s Chief Economist Brian Pearce said.

A likely demand shift towards shorter flights will mean growth in traffic measured in revenue passenger kilometres trails behind passenger numbers, Pearce also said. (Reporting by Laurence Frost and Conor Humphries, editing by Louise Heavens)