Airports Council International (ACI) estimates that it may take up to two decades to return to their previous projected state for global air traffic levels.

On August 31, 2020, ACI released its fourth update report on the economic impact that COVID-19 had so far on the global airport business. The outlook seems rather grim

 In Q2 2020, passenger count has decreased an average of 90%, while the projected numbers estimate the year will finish with a 60% less than initially projected. Simultaneously, the approximated revenue for 2020 has dropped by $104.5 billion for the airport market.

According to ACI’s most optimistic recovery trajectory, the organization does not expect international traffic to return to Pre-COVID levels before 2023. This is similar to the International Air Traffic Association’s (IATA) estimation that ranges the recovery between late 2023 and 2024.

However, the ACI says that the industry is undergoing adjustments and expects it to continue to do so.

“Given the mid- to long-term adjustments that will need to be made to many well-established processes, a full recovery to 2019 levels of traffic is likely not going to happen for several years,” the report by ACI reads.

At the same time, the organization believes that markets with strong domestic networks stand a chance to recover earlier, while previously projected passenger volumes may take up to 20 years to restore.

“On the longer run, it is predicted that the global traffic will not return to previously projected levels within the next two decades, pointing to a potential structural change,” ACI goes to say further.