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Air travel will be disrupted by ‘very frustrating’ supply chain issues, says IATA’s Willie Walsh

Supply chain issues will impact air travel in 2023, IATA’s chief executive says.

Juliet Michel | AFP | Getty Images

Air transport will be affected by “very frustrating” supply chain issues this year, according to Willie Walsh, chief executive of the International Air Transport Association, as he discussed the challenges facing the aviation sector. faced 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 notable when it comes to engine parts, he added, which could then delay the delivery of new planes from manufacturers like Boeing And Airbus.

Plane shortages have been a thorn in the side of US airlines for months, with some now turning 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 near term are beyond our control, and they are primarily related to resource shortages in air traffic control,” Walsh said. “We have already seen capacity restrictions in the United States [and] we see problems in Europe.”

A positive year 2023

His comments come as airlines look set to return to profitability in 2023, having weathered a difficult post-pandemic period, with airports also struggling to get back on their feet.

“Airlines and airports were criticized last year for not getting resources in place in time for recovery,” Walsh told CNBC. “[But] I think the airlines have done their part. I think most airports are in good shape,” he added.

Walsh said he was “optimistic” for the industry as a whole, despite supply chain hurdles.

“Looking at the big picture…we can be positive about 2023 and beyond,” he said.


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