Air traffic will not return to 2019 levels until 2024, later than previously predicted, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said in a news conference on Tuesday.
Despite a slight upturn, air travel in June was surprisingly weak and a much faster rebound had been expected, IATA said.
There was almost no recovery in Europe and passenger numbers remain at all-time lows. Traffic is not growing as quickly as airlines are adding capacity, leading to greater cash burn.
IATA expressed concern business travel levels will never return to pre-Covid-19 levels. New technologies and working from home could mean businesses cut back permanently on travel. Over the next couple of years, cargo could replace business travel as a major source of revenue.
Testing is one of IATA's preferred solutions to imposing quarantine, which it reiterated this week after the UK's sudden decision to reintroduce such measures for travelers arriving from Spain.
"We are in favor of introducing testing, especially between countries that have a different level of infection," Alexandre de Juniac, IATA's Director General and CEO, said. "But we do not see for the moment the testing system ready to accommodate the constraints of air travel."