Airports Council International (ACI) World, a representative of the world’s airports, estimates that air passenger traffic will fall by 58.4% year-on-year in 2020 in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis.

The organisation released its fourth Covid-19 economic impact analysis bulletin highlighting the extent of the pandemic’s impact on global airport operations.

The report said that passenger numbers will reduce by 5.6 billion this year while airport industry revenues may fall by 60% compared to the projected baseline (pre-Covid-19 forecast for 2020).

Global passenger traffic volumes are not expected to recover to the 2019 levels before 2023.

ACI World director general Luis Felipe de Oliveira said: “Airports are key drivers of economic development but, without any support from governments and with $104bn in losses because of the devastating impact of the pandemic on aviation, it is now the time to come together to support recovery.

“Aviation will be central to the global economic recovery, delivering connectivity, trade, tourism, jobs, prosperity and growth.

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“As air transport has always been an industry based on the interdependence of all its parts, the Covid-19 crisis devastated all stakeholders, from aircraft manufacturers and travel agents to retailers in airports, and resulted in job losses, business shutdowns, bankruptcies, and other instances of economic devastation.”

Established in 1991, ACI works to represent airports’ interests to governments and international organisations.

In April, the organisation released an analysis, which stated that Covid-19 pandemic may decrease airport revenue by half this year.