The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has announced that the recovery in air travel demand is continuing in 2023, based on January traffic results.
Total traffic for the month – measured in revenue passenger kilometres or RPKs – rose 67 per cent compared to January 2022. Globally, traffic is now at 84.2 per cent of January 2019 levels.
Domestic traffic for January 2023 increased 32.7 per cent compared to the same period last year. The lifting of the zero-Covid policy in China is believed to have helped. January 2023 domestic traffic was at 97.4 per cent of pre-pandemic numbers.
International traffic climbed 104 per cent against January 2022 figures, with all markets showing strong growth, led by carriers in the Asia Pacific region. International RPKs reached 77 per cent of January 2019 levels.
“Air travel demand is off to a very healthy start in 2023,” said Willie Walsh, IATA Director General. “The rapid removal of COVID-19 restrictions for Chinese domestic and international travel bodes well for the continued strong industry recovery from the pandemic throughout the year. And, importantly, we have not seen the many economic and geopolitical uncertainties of the day dampening demand for travel.”