Latest Issue

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.

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect