In September, global airlines regained 97.1% of passenger traffic from pre-Covid level of 2019, thanks to the acceleration of the recovery of international flightsaccording to monthly data from theInternational Air Transport Association (IATA).
While domestic flights had so far been the driving force behind the recovery in air travel, international flights have reached “93.1% of September 2019 level“, indicated IATA. This attendance, calculated in revenue passenger kilometers (RPK), increased by 31.2% in one year.
However, the recovery remains uneven across regions, reaching 105.3% of September 2019 levels in North America and the Middle East, but 94% in Europe and 79.7% in Asia-Pacific. In domestic markets, attendance in RPK has exceeded pre-Covid levels since April.
2023 was “a year of strong recovery in demand (…) We have every reason to believe that the sector will continue its momentum beyond the New Year, despite the economic and political uncertainties in certain parts of the world“, said IATA Director General Willie Walsh. On the other hand, he regretted the problems “unacceptable” of supply chains that can cause delays in deliveries of new aircraft, which “hampers the recovery” according to him, as well as the bottlenecks caused by the inefficiencies of air traffic control in certain regions.
According to the latest IATA projections, published in June, air transport should almost return in 2023 to the number of passengers before the health crisis, at 4.35 billion compared to 4.54 in 2019.