With 63.8 pc, APAC fastest growth region in November 2023: IATA

Global air traffic attains 99 pc of 2019 levels
2024-01-10
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/ New Delhi
IATA
With 63.8 pc, APAC fastest growth region in November 2023: IATA

Global domestic traffic for November was up 34.8 pc compared to year-ago period

IATA says global air travel demand is regaining momentum as in November 2023, it reached 99 pc of the pre-pandemic level. Asia-Pacific region reported strongest growth while Africa and Middle East followed closely.
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A report by International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) for November 2023 air travel performance indicates that global air travel demand topped 99 pc of 2019 levels.

According to IATA, the Asia-Pacific region continued to report the strongest year-over-year results with 63.8 pc increase across all regions showing improvement compared to the prior year. November 2023 international RPKs reached 94.5 pc of November 2019 levels. 

IATA says that the total traffic in November 2023, measured in revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs, rose 29.7 pc compared to November 2022 reaching 99.1 pc of November 2019 levels.  International traffic in November 2023 rose 26.4 pc compared to the previous year. 

The statement adds that global domestic traffic for November was up 34.8 pc compared to year-ago period. Total November domestic traffic was 6.7 pc above the November 2019 level. Growth was particularly strong in China, up by 272 pc as it recovered from the Covid travel restrictions that were still in place a year ago. US domestic travel, benefitting from strong Thanksgiving holidays demand, reached a new high, expanding by 9.1 pc over November 2019.

Willie Walsh

Willie Walsh

“We are moving ever closer to surpassing the 2019 peak year for air travel. Economic headwinds are not deterring people from taking to the skies. International travel remains 5.5 pc below pre-pandemic levels but that gap is rapidly closing. And domestic markets have been above their pre-pandemic levels continuously since April,” says Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.

IATA says that European carriers’ November traffic climbed 14.8 pc versus November 2022. Capacity increased 15.2 pc and load factor declined 0.3 percentage points to 83.3 pc. African airlines continued to build on the momentum with a 22.1 pc rise in November RPKs versus a year ago. November 2023 capacity was up 29.6 pc and load factor fell 4.3 percentage points to 69.7 pc, the lowest among regions.

The statement adds that North American carriers experienced a 14.3 pc traffic rise in November versus the 2022 period. Capacity increased 16.3 pc and load factor fell 1.4 percentage points to 80 pc. For Latin American airlines,’ November traffic rose 20 pc compared to the same month in 2022. November capacity climbed 17.7 pc and load factor increased 1.7 percentage points to 84.9 pc, the highest of any region.

Middle Eastern airlines saw an 18.6 pc traffic rise in November compared to November 2022. November capacity increased 19.0 pc versus the year-ago period, and load factor fell 0.2 percentage points to 77.4 pc, adds IATA.

“Aviation’s rapid recovery from Covid demonstrates just how important flying is to people and to businesses. In parallel to aviation’s recovery, governments recognised the urgency of transitioning from jet fuel to Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) for aviation’s decarbonisation. The Third Conference on Aviation Alternative Fuels (CAAF/3) in November saw governments agree that we should see 5 pc carbon savings by 2030 from SAF. This was followed up at COP28 in December where governments agreed that we need a broad transition from fossil fuels to avoid the worst effects of climate change.  Airlines don’t need convincing. They agreed to achieve NetZero carbon emissions by 2050 and every drop of SAF ever made in that effort has been bought and used. There simply is not enough SAF being produced. So we look to 2024 to be the year when governments follow-up on their own declarations and finally deliver comprehensive policy measures to incentivise the rapid scaling-up of SAF production,” says Walsh.

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