Thank you, Tony, and thank you, Brian. Excellent presentation and very pleased to see the optimism contained in your report today.
I think there's a lot in that short presentation that we do need to recognize clearly as being more optimistic about recovery, both in terms of the pace of recovery, but also the shape of the industry going forward. And as Brian has indicated, the figures that you've seen in most of the charts relate to passenger numbers, which is slightly different to the charts we normally give you, which is in revenue passenger kilometers.
I think there is a shift in the shape of the industry as well, which is evident in what Brian has shown you. Typically, domestic travel, which has recovered pretty much completely now, and as Brian said, we will get back to where we were in 2019 or indeed in some markets above that. But domestic markets normally account for about one third of all RPKs, international two thirds. What we're clearly seeing is that there's a greater shift in recovery, and potential growth in the domestic markets than there is in international markets. So there's still quite a long way for us to go.
We shouldn't in any way downplay the crisis as airlines continue to face a crisis, which I’ve said on many occasions is not one caused by the health pandemic, because I think we're largely through that. The continuation of the crisis is largely caused by government restrictions on international travel. And again, you can see that we're optimistic that once those restrictions are relaxed—or indeed removed—we will see a swift bounce-back in terms of demand. So, good reason as we said before to be optimistic. But clearly, the industry has lost significant growth, which will make recovery and repair of balance sheets a focus for all airlines. And that will take some time.
So as I said before, I think you're likely to see a more cautious industry, as we come through this crisis and go into the recovery mode. The critical issue is that the recovery in international travel can only really start when the government restrictions on travel are either relaxed or removed. And the message today is very simple. We've have to be ready for that, and we need to be prepared now. In fact, we should have been preparing for this for some time, because the environment we'll be operating in will be different in the second half of this year. So we've got to prepare for that, and I'll comment on that in a second; I'll show you a chart that we prepared which demonstrates the scale of the challenge. But also we have to recognize that the environmental and sustainability issues are also critical and must be addressed. And I'll talk about that in a moment. But if we just go to the next slide, we've done some modeling.
You will have heard me comment on this, if you go back to pre-crisis, we estimate that on average, during peak periods, a customer will spend about one and a half hours in the airport going through the check-in, security, emigration checks where there are emigration checks. And then on arrival, immigration checks and customs and baggage collection—about one and a half hours. If you look at today, where we're seeing passenger volumes at about 30% of pre-crisis levels, we estimate that that time on average during the peak period has increased by one and a half hours. And you can see it's principally on the arrival side with the immigration checks significantly increased, but also an increase on the departure side as passengers check or demonstrate that they have the required testing regime complete—be that a PCR test or a rapid antigen test—and that they've completed all of the relevant passenger locator forms that governments have introduced.
So we've seen a significant increase in processing times. Now if we model that further out with a recovery in the industry, you can see that if we get to 75% of our pre-crisis levels, that increases by four hours, to five and a half hours. And if we get back to pre-crisis levels, we estimate that during the peak it could raise to about eight hours. Now clearly, that's not going to happen, because airports will not be able to function in either that 75% scenario or 100% scenario if we have to continue to manually check paperwork. And again, this highlights what we've been saying for some time—that we need a digital solution. And we need governments and airlines to be able to process customers, almost as they did seamlessly prior to this crisis and enable customers to check in online to take the volume of activity away from the airport, or else we will have chaos on departure. And then critically, we will have chaos on arrival as people go through the immigration process if they've got to continue to prove—using paper—that they've completed their forms and have completed the right test.
A digital solution is absolutely critical. We need governments to agree on a common standard for vaccination, and for testing. And we also need them to operate to that standard and to have mutual recognition of various governments’ either certification processes, or whatever system they put in place to prove that people have been vaccinated. So a common standard. If we had one globally, that would be a huge benefit. But where possible, we need to have common standards applied as much as possible, and then to have mutual recognition of standards and forms.
We think the G7 has a critical role to play at their meeting coming up in mid-June. If the G7 could agree on a common standard that would cover almost 30% of people traveling. But the simple message is we can't go back to a paper system that we abandoned in the industry years and years ago. We've had fantastic developments, creating an automated and a digital experience for our customers. They love it. It has improved the customer experience; it has taken pressure off the airports; and it has enabled the growth that we've seen in recent years.
Getting on to the post-recovery phase, our focus on the environment remains unchanged. The airline industry, has long shown leadership in committing to very challenging goals, well in advance of other industries. Our current targets, as you know, is to reduce our net emissions by 50% by 2050. That was done and agreed in an environment prior to the Paris Accord just over five years ago. So clearly, that's something that we will be looking at again; but we’ve got a good track record of where we set ourselves these challenging targets, we have always achieved them, and in many cases, we have exceeded them. So we now need other players to come and play their parts, particularly I highlight air traffic control.
We've talked on many occasions about the need to eliminate the bureaucracy and the inefficiency in European skies and to implement the Single European Sky. It has been estimated, conservatively, that it could reduce CO2 over Europe by 10%. That would be a massive achievement. There is no technological impediment to this; airlines have already invested in the equipment and it's onboard our aircraft today. We need air traffic control providers—ANSPs— and governments to play their part.
We also need further government support for the development of sustainable aviation fuels. There's no reason why governments should not support this development given the billions—trillions indeed—of dollars that has gone into green fuels for other sources. Aviation has long recognized that we need to find an alternative to the kerosene that we're using today. Sustainable biofuels are a viable option for us. But we need to see the same support that other industries have received to get to a point where we can get volumes of manufacturing to a level that drives the unit cost down. And this is a job creator. This is really an opportunity for governments to create a green industry in developing sustainable biofuels.
So our focus on the environment has not in any way waned as we've gone through this. I've said before, I'm really pleased to see more and more airlines invest in new technology, commit to sustainable biofuels, commit to other technological advances and put their money where their mouth is at a time when money is really scarce within the industry. So a lot for us to do. But it's very pleasing to see a note of optimism in the presentation that Brian has shown to you today. And on that I'll pass back to Tony and we can start taking your questions.
> Press release: Optimism When Borders Reopen
> Press release: Digitalization Needed for Smooth Restart
> Presentation: An almost full recovery of air travel in prospect (pdf) from Brian Pearce, IATA's Chief Economist