Pent-up demand for air travel after two years of lockdowns will continue to buoy the industry’s recovery as restrictions ease, despite headwinds from inflation and geopolitical risks, a study indicates.
An estimated 1.5 billion additional people globally are expected to fly in 2022, compared with last year, according to the MasterCard Economics Institute’s third annual travel report. Of these, Europe will record the biggest increase with about 550 million additional travellers, while the Middle East is expected to have 115 million more this year.
Other indicators look promising for the aviation industry, which has been battered by the Covid-19 pandemic over the last two years.
Business travel bookings have exceeded 2019 levels for the first time since the pandemic started, a major milestone in the industry’s recovery. Business travel, a critical profit segment for airlines, had lagged behind the recovery in leisure trips.
Long-haul leisure travel, which recorded the steepest declines…