Air travel’s strong recovery from the pandemic will allow global airlines to cut their losses this year and possibly return to profit in 2023, according to an industry body, which upgraded its forecasts on Monday.

According to the International Air Transport Association, global airlines are now expected to post a loss of $9.7 billion in 2022, a strong improvement on the revised loss of $42.1 billion in 2021.

The forecast for 2022 is almost $2 billion better than the previous expectation of a loss of $11.6 billion.

Last year’s losses also improve an earlier forecast of $52 billion, although airlines gathered in Qatar have been warned that high oil prices and inflation risk taking a toll on the fragile recovery.

“Our industry is now more efficient, stronger and more capable,” IATA Director General Willie Walsh told an annual gathering of more than 100 airline leaders. “Sector profits should appear on the horizon in 2023,” he added.

Categorized in: