- Air travel will be affected by “very frustrating” supply chain issues this year, according to Willie Walsh, director general of the International Air Transport Association.
- Walsh said he was “optimistic” about the industry as a whole, despite supply chain obstacles.
Supply chain issues will affect air travel in 2023, says IATA director general.
Juliette Michel | Afp | Getty Images
Air travel will be affected by “very frustrating” supply chain issues this year, according to Willie Walsh, director general of the International Air Transport Association, as he discussed the challenges facing the aviation sector this year.
“[It’s] so frustrating, 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.
Shortages will be particularly noticeable when it comes to engine parts, he added, which could then delay the delivery of new planes from manufacturers such as Boeing and Airbus.
Aircraft shortages have been a thorn in the side of US airlines for months, and some have now turned to larger planes to accommodate more passengers as they try to balance strong travel demand with a lack of resources.
A shortage of air traffic control personnel is also likely to be an issue in 2023, Walsh said.
“The challenges we expect to see in the short term are beyond our control and they are mainly related to a lack of resources in air traffic control,” Walsh said. “We’ve already seen capacity constraints in the US [and] we see problems in Europe.”
His comments come as airlines look to return to profitability in 2023, after navigating a challenging post-pandemic period, with airports also trying to get back on their feet.
“Airlines and airports were criticized last year for not putting resources in place in time for the recovery,” Walsh told CNBC. “[But] I think the airlines have done their part. Most airports I think are in good shape,” he added.
Walsh said he was “optimistic” about the industry as a whole, despite supply chain obstacles.
“Taking the big picture into account … we can be positive until 2023 and beyond,” he said.