(Bloomberg) -- Global air-passenger traffic remained 58% lower last year than in the pre-coronavirus environment of 2019, according to figures published by the International Air Transport Association.

With travel advancing only marginally from 2020, airlines have now lost the bulk of two years of flying. IATA is working to update its outlook after saying in October that airlines’ total Covid-related losses would surpass $200 billion.


Carriers are currently forecast to post a collective deficit of $11.6 billion this year. While domestic, regional and leisure travel are rebounding, there’s been a slower recovery in the globe-spanning business routes so crucial to many.

Still, IATA Director General Willie Walsh said in an update Tuesday that he’s optimistic demand will see a strong resurgence in 2022.

The omicron variant of the virus has been less disruptive than feared, and its impact should be largely over by February, IATA Chief Economist Marie Owens Thomsen said. 

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