Global air traffic to hit 92 pc of pre-pandemic numbers in 2023, says ACI World

Global air passenger traffic to hit 19.3 billion in 2041
/ New Delhi
Global air traffic
Global air traffic to hit 92 pc of pre-pandemic numbers in 2023, says ACI World

The global air passenger traffic is set to return to 92 pc of 2019 levels this year

Global organisation of airport owners and operators Airports Council International World predicts that the global air passenger traffic is set to return to 92 pc of 2019 levels this year. It says that besides exceeding pre-pandemic market size next year, the number of passenger air traffic to soar to 19.3 billion by 2041.
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The global air passenger market is set to return to 92 pc of the pre-pandemic numbers by the end of this year, says Airports Council International (ACI) World, a global organisation that brings together airport owners and operators.

According to a press statement, ACI World has published its latest quarterly airport traffic outlook showing an upsurge in air travel demand across many markets amidst heightened macroeconomic risks. The statement says that the quarterly update is released in tandem with the annual ACI World Airport Traffic Forecasts, revealing expected air traffic to 2041.

The report says that with the removal of travel restrictions and quarantine requirements for vaccinated travellers in 2022, there has been an upsurge in demand across many markets. Global passenger traffic finished the year at 72 pc of 2019 levels, or a total of 6.5 billion passengers. ACI World says that the market segments vary markedly as international passenger numbers were at 60 pc of 2019 levels whereas domestic were at 79 pc in 2022. It adds that the recovery in passenger volumes in 2022 remained uneven across the globe with Latin American-Caribbean markets reaching 91 pc of 2019 levels whereas the Asia-Pacific region lagged at 52 pc.

It adds that while global passenger traffic is forecast to reach 92 pc, or 8.4 billion passengers, of 2019 levels in 2023, the full recovery is expected by 2024, driven mainly by domestic travel.


Luis Felipe de Oliveira

“The surge in air travel following the lifting of restrictions in 2022 continues into 2023. We know from our Global Traveller Survey covering 4,125 respondents across 30 countries, that 86 pc of respondents plan to travel by air in 2023 – this is the highest intention to travel score since the beginning of the pandemic. However, we are cognisant that the speed of the recovery depends on several factors. On the one hand, the possible slowing in GDP growth in major economies coupled with the rise in airfares due to higher jet fuel prices weigh negatively on demand. On the other hand, a strong labour market and the re-opening of China, the second largest aviation market after the United States, represents an important boost to global passenger traffic,” says ACI World Director General Luis Felipe de Oliveira.

ACI World says that the passenger traffic worldwide is expected to reach 19.3 billion in 2041, when airports are also predicted to handle almost 200 million tonnes of air cargo worldwide. The United States and China will remain the two largest markets, together accounting for 40 pc of global cargo. It adds that airports worldwide will see 153.8 million aircraft movements by 2041. The United States, China, and India are predicted to be the leading markets for aircraft movements in 2041, respectively, hosting 23 pc, 16 pc, and 4 pc of global aircraft movements.

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