Concerns about variants of Covid-19 are spoiling what was, towards the end of 2020, expected to be a turning point for international air travel.
Just as airlines were hoping for a ramping down of travel restrictions, the tight borders that characterised the response to Covid-19 in the Asia-Pacific region have become increasingly commonplace elsewhere.
Vaccination programmes are still moving the world towards a better place, but they also mean countries have more to lose by allowing significant passenger traffic to cross their borders.
The industry has been left hoping for a change in fortunes that mirrors the speed at which the outlook has darkened in recent weeks.
For now, international air travel around the world is characterised by a dominance of cargo flights and only skeleton passenger services to facilitate essential trips.
In Europe, for example, huge aviation markets such as…