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Air travel recovery is underway in most major markets but will be stalled without the adoption of some sort of global health passport, Luis Felipe de Oliveira, Airports Council International (ACI) World director, said in a webinar Thursday.

“Establishing interoperable health and data trust framework…will be a key to support global recovery,” he said. “ACI is supportive of any system which will allow testing and vaccination data to be share consistently, effectively and in a way that protects the personal data of those that use it.”

He noted that various agencies are working toward a global standard and added that “ACI is supportive of any system which will allow testing and vaccination data to be shared consistently, effectively, and in a way that protects the personal data of those that use it.”

Even with a health data-sharing framework, recovery is expected to be prolonged globally, especially in business travel, ACI World said. The trade group today published its latest advisory bulletin, titled “The Impact of COVID-19 On the Airport Business and Path to Recovery.”

The analysis shows that 4.7 billion fewer passengers are forecast to travel by year end 2021 compared to the projected baseline, representing a decline of -47.5 percent of global passenger traffic. This reduction in travelers is estimated to equate to a loss in revenue of more than $94 billion by the end of 2021, cutting in half expectations compared to the projected baseline.

As prospects for a recovery in 2021 begin to emerge, ACI World estimates that different regions of the world will recover at different rates. At the country level, markets having significant domestic traffic are expected to recover in 2023 to pre-COVID-19 levels while markets with a significant share of international traffic are unlikely to return to 2019 levels until 2024, or even 2025 in some cases.