Global passenger traffic reaches 99pc of 2019 levels : IATA

-A Monitor Report Date: 16 January, 2024

Montreal : According to International Air Transport Association (IATA), global passenger traffic in November reached 99 per cent of 2019 levels.

On January 10, IATA released its November 2023 Air Passenger Market report, which showed that March traffic increased by 29.7 per cent year-on-year. Year-on-year domestic travel was up 34.8 per cent, 41.9 per cent of global traffic in November.

On the other hand, international traffic rose 26.4 per cent from November 2022 levels and accounted for 58.1 per cent of global RPKs.

In November 2023, domestic traffic surpassed November 2019 levels by 9.1 per cent, while international traffic reached 94.5 per cent in November 2019. Globally, traffic is at 99 per cent of November 2019 levels, nearly a full recovery.

In the report, Willie Walsh, Director General, IATA, said, the near full recovery to pre-pandemic levels shows the important role flying plays for businesses and people alike. "We are moving ever closer to surpassing the 2019 peak year for air travel. Economic headwinds are not deterring people from taking to the skies. International travel remains 5.5 per cent below pre-pandemic levels, but that gap is rapidly closing. And domestic markets have been above their pre-pandemic levels continuously since April."

The Asia-Pacific region has seen the most growth in November, with a 63.8 per cent rise in traffic from November 2022. This was by far the most substantial year-on-year rate among regions. IATA's November report further stated that capacity in the region rose 58.0 per cent while the load factors climbed 2.9 points to 82.6 per cent, the third highest of all the global regions.

Cargo demand up

Also, air cargo demand was up 8.3 per cent in November 2023 from November 2022. For international operations, demand growth was 8.1 per cent.

Capacity, measured in available cargo tonne-kilometres, was up 13.7 per cent compared to November 2022 (+11.6pc for international operations). Compared to November 2019 (pre-Covid-19), demand is down 2.5 per cent while capacity is up 4.1 per cent.

"November air cargo demand was up 8.3 per cent on 2022-the strongest year-on-year growth in almost two years. That is a doubling of October's 3.8 per cent increase and a fourth month of positive market development," said Willie Walsh, Director General, IATA.

Asia-Pacific airlines saw their air cargo volumes increase by 13.8 per cent in November 2023 compared to the same month in 2022. This performance was significantly above the previous month's growth of 7.6 per cent. Available capacity for the region's airlines increased by 29.6 per cent compared to November 2022 as more belly capacity came online with the removal of Covid-19 restrictions.

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