In June 2023, total air passenger traffic soared by 31% compared to the previous year. This growth reflects the continued post-Covid recovery momentum, reaching 94.2% of the levels before the pandemic, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced.
For the first half of 2023, global revenue passenger-kilometres (RPKs) rose by 47.2%. However, the rate of recovery varied across different regions.
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Domestic traffic saw an increase of 27.2% in June. This result surpassed pre-pandemic RPKs by 5.1%. Major domestic markets drove this growth, according to IATA’s latest report. Total international RPKs also experienced growth. They rose by 33.7% from June 2022, maintaining this year’s strong recovery trend.
In particular, Asia Pacific carriers sustained growth. The region’s resilient air travel demand buoyed this momentum.
IATA’s director-general, Willie Walsh, noted the strong start to the northern summer travel season. June saw double-digit demand growth, and average load factors reached 84%. Walsh pointed out that full planes benefit airlines, local economies, and travel-related jobs. These groups all gain from the industry’s ongoing recovery.
In June 2023, Asia Pacific airlines had a tremendous 128.1% increase in traffic compared to the previous year. This percentage was the largest gain among all the regions. Capacity in this region climbed by 115.6%. The load factor also increased by 4.6 percentage points to 82.9%.
Despite this strong travel demand, Walsh argued that it could have been even stronger. Demand currently outpaces capacity growth. Problems in the aviation supply chain have led to delays in delivery of new, eco-friendly aircraft. Additionally, some aircraft are parked, waiting for essential spare parts.
Walsh also raised concerns about the in-service fleet. Some air navigation service providers (ANSPs) have failed to meet travel demand. This failure has resulted in delays and altered schedules, frustrating passengers and airlines alike. Walsh stressed that governments must address ANSPs’ accountability.
IATA, representing 83% of global air traffic, offers statistics that cover international and domestic scheduled air traffic. Total passenger traffic market shares for 2022 are as follows: Asia-Pacific (22.1%), Europe (30.8%), North America (28.8%), Middle East (9.8%), Latin America (6.4%), and Africa (2.1%).
The latest data paints a hopeful picture of the aviation industry’s rebound. While challenges remain, the strong growth signals a return to normalcy in air travel.
This news is based on The Star.