- Willie Walsh, director general of the International Air Transport Association, said air travel will be affected by “very frustrating” supply chain issues this year.
- Walsh said he was “optimistic” for the industry as a whole, despite the supply chain hurdles.
The Director General of the International Air Transport Association said that supply chain issues will affect air travel in 2023.
Juliette Michel | Afp | Getty Images
Air travel will be affected by “extremely frustrating” supply chain issues this year, according to IATA Director General Willie Walsh, as he discussed the challenges facing the aviation sector this year.
“[It’s] Very disappointing, because it’s going to have an impact in the summer of 2023. And we’re already seeing that,” Walsh told CNBC’s Dan Murphy.
He added that the shortage will be particularly noticeable when it comes to engine parts, which could then delay deliveries of new aircraft from manufacturers such as Boeing and Airbus.
The shortage of planes has been a thorn in the side of US airlines for months, with some now turning to bigger planes to accommodate more passengers as they try to balance strong travel demand with a lack of resources.
Walsh said the scarcity of air traffic control personnel is likely to be an issue in 2023.
“The challenges we expect to see in the short term are beyond our control, and they mainly relate to a lack of resources in air traffic control,” Walsh said. “We’ve already seen capacity limitations in the United States [and] We are seeing problems in Europe.”
His comments come as airlines appear poised to return to profitability in 2023, having navigated a difficult post-pandemic period, with airports also scrambling to get back on their feet.
“Airlines and airports were criticized last year for not providing resources in time for recovery,” Walsh told CNBC. “[But] I think the airlines have done their part. I think most of the airports are in good shape.”
Walsh said he was “optimistic” for the industry as a whole, despite the supply chain hurdles.
“Given the big picture…we can be positive by 2023 and beyond,” he said.