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Global air traffic increased by 67% in January

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The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has reported that in January 2023, global air traffic, measured in revenue passenger kilometers (RPK), increased by 67% when compared to January 2022, and is now at 84.2% of January 2019 levels.

Domestic traffic in January 2023 rose 32.7% compared to the the same month last year, helped by the lifting of the zero-COVID policy in China. Total January 2023 domestic traffic was at 97.4% of the January 2019 level.

International traffic climbed 104% versus January 2022 with all markets recording strong growth, led by carriers in the Asia-Pacific region. International RPKs reached 77% of January 2019 levels.

“Air travel demand is off to a very healthy start in 2023. The rapid removal of COVID-19 restrictions for Chinese domestic and international travel bodes well for the continued strong industry recovery from the pandemic throughout the year. And, importantly, we have not seen the many economic and geopolitical uncertainties of the day dampening demand for travel,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s director-general.

Asia-Pacific airlines posted a 376.3% increase in January traffic compared to January 2022, by far the strongest year-on-year rate among the regions, but off a very low base when much of the region was still closed to travel. Capacity rose 167.1% and the load factor increased 36.6 percentage points to 83.3%, the highest among the regions.

European carriers saw a 60.6% traffic rise versus January 2022. Capacity increased 30.1%, and load factor rose 14.2 percentage points to 75%.

Middle Eastern airlines’ January traffic rose 97.7% compared to January 2022, while capacity increased 45.9% and load factor climbed 20.8 percentage points to 79.2%.

North American carriers reported an 82.4% traffic increase in January with capacity jumping 37.3%, and load factor climbing 19.7 percentage points to 79.6%.

Latin American airlines enjoyed a 46.8% traffic increase compared to the same month in 2022. January capacity climbed 34.3% and the load factor rose 7.1 percentage points to 82.7%, the second highest among the regions.

African airlines’ traffic rose 124.8% in January 2023, capacity was up 82.5% and the load factor climbed 13.9 percentage points to 73.7%, the lowest among regions.

Domestic Passenger Markets

Australia’s domestic traffic rose 107.3% in January compared to the same month last year and now stands at 88.8% of pre-pandemic levels.

China’s domestic RPKs rose 37.2% in January, the first month-on-month annual increase since August 2022 and is now at 86.3% of January 2019 levels.

“With strong travel demand continuing through the traditionally slower winter season in the Northern Hemisphere, the stage is set for an even busier spring and summer. At a time when many are just beginning to enjoy their newly restored travel freedoms, it is especially disappointing to see the Dutch government making plans to limit their movements by unilaterally and unjustly reducing operations at Schiphol Airport,” said Walsh.

© Travel News Asia

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

7 Comments
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And when do we see tickets returning to normal rates?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

When supply outstrips demand.

Economics in action.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Yeah, and ticket prices have skyrocketed 1000%.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Good for economies, bad for environment.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Air fares back to 2019 levels? Would need a MAJOR worldwide recession, like 2008 levels. As Nemo points out above, we are at 85% levels of travel, but the capacity has not returned quite yet. Route frequency has not returned and in many cases smaller aircraft are still being used.

Airlines won’t cut fares when people are filling the premium cabins in abundance. Economy class is becoming an expensive afterthought. Overpriced, bad product now. @purple, 1000% is a bit over the top. Economy has doubled, Biz 50-70%. Save your pennies and take your pick. Europe Japan fares the big jump with Russian airspace closed to Euro and JP airlines.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Good for economies, bad for environment.

You knew it was coming.

No amount of death and misery is enough for the climate religion.

They are anti-human.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

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