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Was 2019 the year of “peak plane”?

There are various factors with the potential to cut flight numbers, of which Covid-19 is only one

By Julian Baggini  

A plane comes in to land at Heathrow. Photo: Steve Parsons/PA Wire/PA Images

Could we soon be looking back at 2019 as the year in which the world reached “peak plane”? The year when air travel reached its zenith? The suggestion might seem absurd. Yes, Covid-19 will give the airlines a short, sharp shock, but in the long term no one sees anything but growth. In 2016, for example, the International Air Transport Association predicted that the number of airline passengers per year would double by 2035 to 7.2bn.

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