MIAMI – Etihad Airways (EY) now expects strong demand in air travel beginning in the second half of 2021 and plans to adopt the IATA Travel Pass.

Taking into account new perspectives brought forward by the global vaccination campaign and the near future adoption of travel passes being tested, EY is redying up for an uptick in demand. EY plans to use the IATA Travel Pass on Toronto (YYZ), Chicago (ORD), New York (JFK), and Washington (IAD) flights.

On the subject of travel passes being developed and tested, the carrier also expressed some perplexity on the actual use of the application since it implies strictly personal information, particularly medical records, that people may not be ready to share freely.

Etihad Boeing B787 Dreamliner A6-BMH – Photo : Roberto Leiro/Airways

Full Recovery Expected in Three Years

This new trend was confirmed by Martin Drew, EY Senior Vice President Sales & Cargo, which, at the same time mitigated this optimistic forecast by indicating that “we’ll see a full recovery now by 2024; previously it was 2023.”

Drew also mentioned that the carrier was seeing increased demand on Morocco, Russia, and Seychelles destinations which had been planned to be resumed by the end of March. EY suspended most of its flights on March 23, 2020, following the spread of the COVID-19.

In 2020, EY saw a fall of 76% of its traffic, with 4.2 million passengers carried in 2020 against 17.5m in 2019, because of lower demand and minor flight operations. The revenue derived by passenger carried fell by 74% at US$1.2bn, one-fourth of the revenues of 2019.

Featured image: Etihad Airbus A380 A6+-APH – Photo : Tony Bordelais/Airways