Three years on from the pandemic outbreak, the airline industry is almost back to full strength and its representative body, the International Air Transport Association, continues its support of industry innovation aimed at transforming the passenger experience from shopping for air travel to arriving at the final destination. Here, Javier Orejas, IATA’s Global Head of Banking, gives TMI the inside track on innovation in the industry – including payment trends relevant to all treasurers.
On 5 May 2023 the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced: “It’s with great hope that I declare Covid-19 over as a global health emergency [although] that does not mean Covid-19 is over as a global health threat.”
While the risk of new variants still remained, he said, the pandemic had been on a downward trend for more than a year and most countries have already returned as far as possible to life as it was pre-Covid.
The downgrade is particularly welcome news to the airline industry’s main lobby group, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which forecasts that 4.35 billion people will travel by air this year. That figure would not be far short of the 4.54 billion passengers who flew in 2019.