According to figures provided by IATA (International Air Transport Association), this number of new entrants is lower than in 2021 (58 companies created), but higher than in 2020 (29 companies created).
Even in tense times for international air travel, new airlines continue to be created, again showing the extreme resilience that the international airline industry very often demonstrates. For example, according to figures released by IATA (International Air Transport Association), a total of 39 international airlines were created during 2022.
The pandemic has favored the creation of "start-ups"
This figure is almost back to the pre-crisis level of 2019 (42 company creations), after a sharp drop in births in 2020 (29 in total), followed by a strong rebound in creations in 2021 (58 airline creations). This strong rebound is explained by the fact that, despite the high degree of competition and the many challenges the airline industry has had to face and still has to face, the pandemic has also favored the creation of "start-ups", notably thanks to the large proportion of second-hand aircraft that were available at that time, with much more affordable leasing rates.
State support has been instrumental in limiting the number of disappearances
Over the past three years, the number of airline disappearances (permanent removal of the AOC or air transport certificate) as well as mothballs (carriers operating fewer than ten flights per month) has fallen sharply, with only 15 airline disappearances in 2022 (compared to 35 in 2021 and 53 in 2020). In 2021 and 2022, therefore, the number of airline births was greater than the number of airline deaths, creating a very large overall increase. Although the number of disappearances had already begun to fall in 2020 (compared with 59 in 2019), it must be compared with the very large number of companies that were mothballed during this period (156 for the whole year), which reflects the impact of confinements and suspensions of airport activities following the Covid-19 pandemic. IATA further states that without the very significant state support during this period, the number of airline disappearances would certainly have been much higher.
Half of new airlines were created in Europe
At the regional level, IATA states that Europe is the region where more than half of the airlines were created in 2022 (20 in total), with only 7 carriers shutting down operations. Asia-Pacific also scores well, with 9 airlines established and only one ceasing operations, notwithstanding the severe health restrictions that the region still experienced during the period. North America is the only region in the world where the number of airlines that have ceased operations (3 in total) has surpassed the number of new ones (2). Overall, the increasing number of new and restarting airlines, coupled with a low number of exits, shows that the international airline industry continues to be very attractive to entrepreneurs and investors, supporting the recovery in business momentum expected for 2023.
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