Global air traffic in October at 74.2 pc of 2019 level, says IATA

Strong international travel makes up for slight fall in domestic travel
/ New Delhi
Global air traffic in October at 74.2 pc of 2019 level, says IATA

IATA says that total domestic traffic decreased slightly by 0.8 pc this month, standing at 77.9 pc compared to the same month in 2019

Latest status report of the global air traffic released by IATA says that the overall air travel in the world continued to rise, reaching 74.2 pc of the 2019 level, despite slight decline in domestic air travel.
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The International Air Transport Association (IATA) says that global air industry revenues rose 44.6 pc year-on-year, in terms of RPKs, to reach 74.2 pc of the pre-pandemic levels in October 2022.

In its monthly report on the state of global air travel, IATA says that total domestic traffic decreased slightly by 0.8 pc this month, standing at 77.9 pc compared to the same month in 2019.

IATA says that the stringent travel policy in China has continued to dampen the global figures, even as almost all other major markets continue to see a sustained recovery. International passenger traffic more than doubled from last October, achieving 72.1 pc of October 2019 levels.

Recovery remained strong after the peak season of July and August, and the momentum extended to October. Since June, global RPKs have grown on average 1.7 pc per month in seasonally adjusted terms.

IATA adds that major international routes have continued to track near pre-pandemic traffic levels. Within Asia, international traffic has experienced substantial growth over the last months, standing at 69.2 pc of October 2019 levels.

Industry-wide seat capacity, measured in available-seat kilometers (ASKs), contracted by 0.3 pc month-on-month (MoM) in seasonally adjusted terms. Different outcomes are observed at the regional level.

In a good sign for the global air travel in the last two months of the current year, IATA says that forward bookings increased to around 75 pc of pre-pandemic levels for international travel, following the re-openings announced by multiple Asian economies, notably with the reopening of Japan and South Korea. Domestic bookings remain at around 70 pc of pre-pandemic level.

These recent developments give a positive outlook with resilient domestic travel and further recovery underway for international traffic worldwide ahead of the holiday season.

Global passenger load factors (PLF) were broadly unchanged in October versus September, adds IATA. While, the international traffic achieved an 82.1 pc passenger load factor, on the domestic side it reached 81.9 pc in October. Diverging outcomes among major markets as decline deepens in China.

In October, total domestic RPKs dropped 0.8 pc YoY and ASKs contracted by 7.4 pc. Domestic traffic stood at 77.9 pc of the October 2019 level, down from 81.5 pc in September. This decrease in recovery rates is mainly due to the tight Covid-19 restrictions in

China, where domestic traffic dropped to only 30.6 pc of the pre-pandemic level, falling from 39.5 pc in September.

Domestic traffic in the US continues to be resilient and the best-performing market among monitored countries. The positive trend has been sustained over the past months with traffic levels close to those achieved in 2019. In Brazil, domestic RPKs were up 9.7 pc YoY and now stand only 7.2 pc below pre-pandemic levels. In India, domestic RPKs increased by 22.7 pc YoY and ASKs by 16 pc. As a result, October RPK’s are now only 12.2 pc short of the 2019 level.

The domestic market in Japan rebounded strongly following the significant easing of Covid-related travel restrictions. Passenger traffic increased 77.4 pc YoY, and load factors continued to rise at a monthly rate of 5.6 pc on average since the beginning of this year. Australia almost tripled its domestic traffic from last year, and now stands 15.8 pc below pre-pandemic levels, as against 17 pc below pre-pandemic levels recorded in September.

This market shows a strong positive trend in seasonally adjusted terms, recording a 11.1 pc average growth since July 2021 compared to 2019 levels.

Worldwide international traffic recovery continues In October 2022, global International RPKs more than doubled from October2019, falling short of the latter by 27.9 pc and continuing the upward trend observed this year. All regions achieved further traffic growth in October 2022, bringing them closer to full recovery.

The strongest YoY growth rates in international travel were recorded in Asia Pacific which region gained a stunning 440 pc though from a very low base. Seasonally adjusted data show an acceleration in the recovery, following the easing of travel restriction by several economies in the region. Nevertheless, the region still lags in the global recovery. In October 2022, international RPKs were 56.2 pc below the October 2019 level, a modest improvement from September.

Thanks to the lifting of travel restrictions, international passenger traffic within the region climbed to 69.8 pc of pre-pandemic levels by the end of October.

In Europe, international RPKs grew by 60.8 pc from October 2019, putting them 17.6 pc below that level. International traffic within the region has also continued to grow and now stands at 80.9 pc of the October 2019 level. Latin America showed an increase in international RPKs of 85.3 pc YoY, rising to 84.9 pc of pre-pandemic levels in October. International ASKs rose by 66.6 pc YoY, to 19.9 pc below pre-pandemic levels.

North America gained 106.8 pc YoY in international RPKs in October, reaching 90.0 pc of pre-crisis levels, This market continues to lead the recovery in international markets. Middle Eastern carriers recorded growth in international traffic of 114.7 pc YoY in October, and this strong result has brought passenger traffic and seat capacity to 15.1 pc and 20.3 pc below pre-pandemic levels respectively. For African carriers, international RPKs grew by 84.5 pc YoY, bringing the level to 24.9 pc short of October 2019 figures.

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