Air passenger demand remains strong in July 2022, says IATA

Global air traffic now 74.6 pc of pre-pandemic levels
/ New Delhi
global aviation
Air passenger demand remains strong in July 2022, says IATA

Aviation continues to recover as people regained freedom to travel, says IATA

The global aviation industry remains firmly on the road to recovery which seems to be accelerating with each passing month as July 2022 saw the global air traffic market to recover to 74.6 pc of the levels in 2019.
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Releasing the data for air passengers around the world in the month of July 2022, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), that brings together over 93 pc of global airline companies, says that air traffic data for July 2022 shows that the recovery in air travel continues to be strong.

IATA says total traffic in July 2022 (measured in revenue passenger kilometres or RPKs) was up 58.8 pc compared to July 2021 and that globally, traffic is now at 74.6 pc of pre-crisis levels. As earlier in the year, IATA says that domestic air travel has recovered faster than the international air tavel. Domestic traffic for July 2022 was up 4.1 pc compared to the year-ago period and is now driving the recovery. Total July 2022 domestic traffic was at 86.9 pc of the July 2019 level and on month to month basis.

In terms of monthly growth the international traffic rose a sharp 150.6 pc compared to July 2021, when many more destinations were closed to foreign travellers. IATA says that with the opening up of practically the entire world, with only few exceptions, the July 2022 international RPKs reached 67.9 pc of July 2019 levels. It adds that Asia-Pacific registered the highest growth, amongst all the regions.

“July’s performance continued to be strong, with some markets approaching pre-COVID levels. And that is even with capacity constraints in parts of the world that were unprepared for the speed at which people returned to travel. There is still more ground to recover, but this is an excellent sign as we head into the traditionally slower autumn and winter quarters in the Northern Hemisphere,” says Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.

International passenger markets

IATA adds that Asia-Pacific airlines posted a humongous 528.8 pc rise in July traffic compared to July 2021, the strongest year-over-year rate among the regions, adding that in the region, the total capacity rose 159.9 pc and the load factor was up 47.1 percentage points to 80.2 pc.

Another region with strong growth in air traffic was Europe as European carriers saw July traffic rise 115.6 pc versus July 2021. Capacity rose 64.3 pc, and load factor climbed 20.6 percentage points to 86.7 pc, second highest among the regions.

Next in the line was the Middle East as the airlines’ traffic climbed 193.1 pc in July compared to July 2021. July capacity rose 84.1% pc versus the year-ago period, and load factor climbed 30.5 percentage points to 82.0 pc.

North American carriers had a 129.2 pc traffic rise in July versus the 2021 period. Capacity rose 79.9 pc, and load factor climbed 19.4 percentage points to 90.3 pc, which was the highest among the regions for a second month.

Latin American airlines’ July traffic rose 119.4 pc compared to the same month in 2021. July capacity rose 92.3 pc and load factor increased 10.5 percentage points to 85.2 pc.

African airlines saw an 84.8 pc rise in July RPKs versus a year ago. July 2022 capacity was up 46.7 pc and load factor climbed 15.5 percentage points to 75.0 pc, the lowest among regions.

Domestic passenger markets

In terms of domestic flights, Brazil reached the pre-pandemic level, after rising 24.2 pc in July. India also performed exceptionally well in domestic aviation, as its domestic RPKs rose 97.8 pc in July, though the domestic air travel is still some way from the peaks of pre-pandemic levels, standing at 81 pc of 2019 levels.

In China, domestic RPKs continued to ramp up and are now 30.5 pc below 2019 levels which represents a 19.9 pc jump from June. A swift recovery can be expected in this market since every prior easing of travel restrictions has been met with high demand for air travel. US domestic traffic remains stable and close to full recovery levels compared to 2019, says IATA.

In Japan, the recovery accelerated, with traffic volumes up 104.0 pc YoY. Domestic RPKs are 11.3 pc below their pre-pandemic level, a 11.2 ppts increase from June. The domestic market in Australia recorded a 239.7 pc YoY increase in July and gained 6.0 pc rise in month on month. This moves current traffic levels to 10.2 pc below that prior to the pandemic.

‘‘Aviation continues to recover as people take advantage of their restored freedom to travel. The pandemic showed that aviation is not a luxury but a necessity in our globalised and interconnected world. Aviation is committed to continuing to meet the demands of people and commerce and to do it sustainably. We have set a goal to achieve net zero CO2 emissions by 2050, which is in line with the targets of the Paris Agreement. Governments will have the opportunity to support our commitment by agreeing to a Long-Term Aspirational Goal (LTAG) of net zero aviation CO2 emissions by 2050 at the upcoming 41st Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). With governments supporting the same goal and timeline, we and our value chain partners can move forward with confidence towards a net zero carbon future,” says IATA’s Walsh.

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