December 1 2022  |  Aviation Trends

Global traffic at 74 percent of October 2019 levels, IATA says

By Stephanie Philp

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced today that total traffic in October 2022 (measured in revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs) rose almost 45 percent compared to October 2021. Globally, traffic is more than 74 percent of October 2019 levels the release said.

Domestic traffic for October 2022 slipped just under one percent compared to the year-ago period “as stringent COVID-related travel restrictions in China dampened global figures.” Total October 2022 domestic traffic was at 77.9 percent of the October 2019 level. Domestic forward bookings remain at around 70 percent of the pre-pandemic level.

“Traditionally, by October we are into the slower autumn travel season in the Northern Hemisphere, so it is highly reassuring to see demand and forward bookings continuing to be so strong. It bodes well for the coming winter season and the ongoing recovery,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.

The release noted that international traffic climbed 102.4 percent versus October 2021 and that October 2022 international RPKs reached 72.1 percent of October 2019 levels with all markets recording strong growth, led by Asia-Pacific. Forward bookings for international travel increased to around 75 percent of pre-pandemic levels, following the re-openings announced by multiple Asian economies.

“People are enjoying the freedom to travel, and businesses recognize the importance of air transport to their success. A recent survey of European business leaders doing business across borders showed that 84 percent could not imagine doing so without access to air transport networks and 89 percent believed being close to an airport with global connections gave them a competitive advantage. Governments need to pay attention to the message that air travel is fundamental to how we live and work. That reality should drive policies to enable aviation to operate as efficiently as possible while supporting the industry’s 2050 Net Zero emission goals with meaningful incentives to encourage the production of Sustainable Aviation Fuels,” said Walsh.

Other highlights from the report include: Asia-Pacific airlines having a 440.4 percent rise in October traffic compared to October 2021, and, in the same time period, European carriers’ traffic climbed 60.8 percent, Middle Eastern airlines saw a 114.7 percent rise, North American carriers reported a 106.8 percent increase, Latin American airlines posted an 85.3 percent traffic rise and African airlines’ traffic rose 84.5 percent.

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