November 8 2022  |  Aviation Trends

IATA reports total air traffic rose 57 percent from the previous year

By Stephanie Philp

In its September data, The International Air Transport Association (IATA) shows that the trend of a strong air travel recovery continues. According to the November 7 release, the total traffic in September rose 57 percent from the previous year. Globally, traffic is now almost 74 percent of the September 2019 levels.

“Even with economic and geopolitical uncertainties, the demand for air transport continues to recover ground,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.

Total domestic traffic in September this year was at 81 percent of the September 2019 level, the release noted. At the same time, international traffic reached almost 70 percent of the September 2019 level. Compared to the data from September 2021, international traffic rose 122 percent.

“The outlier is still China,” Walsh said, “with its pursuit of a zero COVID strategy keeping borders largely closed and creating a demand roller coaster ride for its domestic market, with September being down 46.4% on the previous year. That is in sharp contrast to the rest of Asia-Pacific, which, despite China’s dismal performance, posted a 464.8% increase for international traffic compared to the year-ago period.”

Other highlights from the report include: Middle Eastern Airlines rising 149 percent in September compared to the previous year and African airlines showing capacity up by over 47 percent.

“A majority of passengers want to use biometric data rather than passports for border processes,” Walsh noted, referencing the IATA’s 2022 Global Passenger Survey (GPS). According to the survey, passengers want “simplification and convenience,” Walsh said. “Modernizing the facilitation experience will not only help alleviate the choke points, it will create a better experience for all.”

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