Global air passenger traffic this year is projected to fall 64.2% short of the pre-pandemic forecast, the Airports Council International (ACI) said on Tuesday.

In its fifth COVID-19 economic impact analysis, ACI World predicted the global aviation sector will see a fall of more than 6 billion passengers by the end of 2020.

“Europe and the Middle East are predicted to be the two most impacted regions – with declines above 70% compared to the projected baseline – while Asia-Pacific has embarked on recovery earlier and faster than other regions and is forecasted to close the year 2020 with a decline of 59.2%,” the report said.

The airport industry was expected to generate around $172 billion this year but COVID-19’s impact on airport revenues will result in a fall of $111.8 billion, down 65% compared to the pre-pandemic forecast, according to the report.

Based on scenarios developed by ACI World, domestic passenger traffic is expected to recover to 2019 levels by 2023, with the recovery of international passenger traffic the following year.

Luis Felipe de Oliveira, ACI World’s director general, also said although some positive signs are being seen, there is still a long way to go.

He stressed that the industry needs government assistance and policy support now to lay a solid foundation for recovery.

Copyright 2022 Anadolu Agency. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.