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United Kingdom forecaster says global travel might not return to “normal” until 2025

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Posted: Friday, March 5, 2021. 9:19 am CST.

By BBN Staff: The United Kingdom’s Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR), the government’s independent forecaster is predicting that global travel will take around three years to return to pre-pandemic levels, comparing the situation to the downturn the airline industry experienced after 9/11.

“We continue to expect a gradual recovery in passenger numbers, similar in pace to that observed in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the US, where US air passengers only exceeded pre-attack levels three years later,” the OBR said.

The Telegraph, via Yahoo News, reports that the OBR’s latest amended fiscal outlook projects that global travel will not see any form of normalcy until 2024-2025 and will hinge heavily on vaccine rollouts.

Meanwhile, UK authorities have banned taking any holidays abroad before May 17 as a part of restrictions put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Jonathan Van-Tam, the Deputy Chief Medical Officer, said on Monday that there remains “great uncertainty” about when they will be allowed to resume.

“Many of the vaccination programmes in Europe, which is a place where we frequently go on holiday abroad, are running behind ours,” Van-Tam said.

The UK has reportedly lost £3.4 billion in air passenger duty, a tax on flight travel, between 2020-2021.

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