The COVID-19 pandemic changed everything for the airline industry. Besides the obvious need for safety measures to counter an airborne virus, the industry suffered “the largest drop in air travel in history,” according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), a 290-member trade association for the global airline industry. This drop in traffic was not entirely consumer-driven, as governments throughout the world limited travel to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.
“IATA estimates global passenger numbers fell 61% in 2020,” a spokesperson explained — a drop from 4.54 billion air passengers in 2019 to 1.76 billion passengers.
The trade association forecasts 2.38 billion passengers in 2021. They noted that they “expect 2021 net losses of $47.7 billion.”
The losses for the industry are shattering, though likely not surprising. Anyone who has…