Hong Kong: International air travel, battered by the economic downturn, is starting to stabilize and should recover over the next two years as an economic turnaround takes hold, a top executive at aviation giant Boeing Corp. said Wednesday.
Passenger travel will somewhat better in the second half of 2009 than in the first half but will still slump between 6 and 8% for the year, said Randy Tinseth, a Boeing vice president for marketing.
At the same, there were signs that drop in demand was slowing, with global airlines beginning restore capacity and China and Latin American markets picking up, he said.
“We’re already starting to see some improvements in traffic and traffic growth, but we’ve got a long ways to go,” Tinseth told reporters at an Asian aerospace and aviation show in Hong Kong.
“We see 2010 as a year of economic recovery and 2011 as a year of air travel recovery,” he added.
Over the long haul, Asia will overtake North America as the world’s largest air travel market, growing from a 32% share to 41%, he said.