IATA passenger data from September 2022 for domestic, international and total air traffic show air travel recovery is still ongoing but heading in a positive direction.
Total traffic for September – measured in revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs) – rose 57 per cent compared to September 2021. Globally, traffic is now at 73.8 per cent of September 2019 levels.
Domestic traffic for September 2022 was 6.9 per cent higher than a year ago and is at 81 per cent of the September 2019 level.
International traffic was up 122.2 per cent compared to September 2021, with RPKs for September 2022 reaching 69.9 per cent of pre-pandemic numbers.
All markets have reported strong growth in international traffic, particularly Asia-Pacific. Airlines in this region saw a 464.8 per cent rise in September traffic compared to last year, which was the strongest year-over-year rate across all regions. Capacity rose 165.3 per cent and the load factor increased to 78.3 per cent – up 41.5 percentage points.
Willie Walsh, IATA Director General, said: “Even with economic and geopolitical uncertainties, the demand for air transport continues to recover ground.
“The outlier is still China, with its pursuit of a zero-Covid strategy keeping borders largely closed and creating a demand roller-coaster ride for its domestic market, with September being down 46.4 per cent on the previous year.
“That is in sharp contrast to the rest of Asia-Pacific which, despite China’s dismal performance, posted a 464.8 per cent increase for international traffic compared to the year-ago period.”
In terms of international flights, European carriers’ traffic climbed 78.3 per cent against September 2021; Middle Eastern 149.7 per cent; North American 128.9 per cent; Latin American 99.4 per cent; and African 90.5 per cent.