IATA reports continuing recovery figures for air travel
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has reported that total global air traffic is now at 70.8 per cent of pre-pandemic levels as part of its passenger data for June 2022
Total traffic for June 2022, measured in revenue passenger kilometers (RPK) was up 76.2 per cent year on year compared with June 2021.
International traffic rose 229.5 per cent versus June 2021, as the lifting of travel restrictions in most parts of the Asia-Pacific region – previously a longstanding hold-out against the wider global easing of travel restrictions – continued. International RPKs were also 65 per cent of June 2019 levels.
Domestic traffic for June 2022 also increased, by 5.2 per cent year-on-year – the sector having already experienced a significant recovery over preceding months. Strong improvements in most markets, combined with the easing of coronavirus-related lockdown restrictions in the Chinese domestic market have contributed to the result. Total RPK for domestic travel in June 2022 was 81.4 per cent of June 2019 levels.
Meeting the level of demand has proved challenging
“Demand for air travel remains strong. After two years of lockdowns and border restrictions people are taking advantage of the freedom to travel wherever they can,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General. “With the Northern Hemisphere summer travel season now fully underway, predictions that the lifting of travel restrictions would unleash a torrent of pent-up travel demand are being borne out.
“At the same time, meeting that demand has proved challenging and likely will continue to be so. All the more reason to continue to show flexibility to the slot use rules. The European Commission’s intent to return to the longstanding 80-20 requirement is premature. Just look at the issues that airlines and their passengers at some hub airports are being confronted with. These airports are unable to support their declared capacity even with the current 64 per cent slot threshold and have extended recent passenger caps until the end of October. Flexibility is still essential in support of a successful recovery,” he added.