Terminal 2 de l'aéroport Paris CDG. Terminal 2 of Paris CDG airport.

We are still far from reaching the pre-pandemic level of traffic, with experts agreeing that we will have to wait until 2024 to reach performances similar to 2019. However, since the summer of 2021, there has been a slight upturn in traffic, which seems to be confirmed month by month for the time being. This summer, both Europe and France have returned to a level of passenger traffic that is 50% below that of 2019, whereas in March, traffic was only just over 10% of its pre-pandemic level. It could even reach 60% of the 2019 level in the last months of the year.

Cautious optimism is the order of the day. An optimism now supported by the planned reopening of borders outside Europe. November will indeed see the opening to foreign travellers of the United States, India, Thailand

, Mauritius and Chile. They join Canada, Peru, Brazil, Mexico, Ukraine, Egypt, South Africa and Ethiopia. Airlines are reporting good booking rates on long-haul routes.

However, in spite of these openings, the experts evoke the horizon 2023 – at least – for a return to the figures of 2019. This is because there are still many unknowns, such as the resurgence of the pandemic. Or the absence of important air markets such as China, Japan, Vietnam or Australia, whose entry into their respective territories remains, if not restricted, sometimes impossible. ” Asia remains permanently closed and in Africa there are still major restrictions,” says Anne Rigail, CEO ofAir France

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. Added to this is the unknown fact that the recovery in international business travel is slower than expected.

All these factors indicate that, although the recovery is here, it still needs to be strengthened. Growth in air transport is still a long-term objective. ” Because we are not immune to a return of the pandemic, as we are seeing in certain countries such as the United Kingdom, Bulgaria and Romania. We therefore have very little visibility after Christmas. However, forecasting remains essential to our economic models“, analyses Alain Battisti, President of the French National Federation of Merchant Aviation (FNAM).