This was driven primarily by international demand.
Total demand for air travel in April 2022 (measured in revenue passenger kilometres or RPKs) was up 78.7 per cent compared to April 2021 and slightly ahead of March 2022’s 76 per cent year-over-year increase.
April domestic air travel was down one per cent compared to the year-ago period, a reversal from the 10.6-per-cent demand rise that was seen in March. This was driven entirely by continuing strict travel restrictions in China, where domestic traffic was down 80.8 per cent year-to-year. Overall, April domestic traffic was down 25.8 per cent versus April 2019.
International RPKs rose 331.9 per cent versus April 2021, an acceleration over the 289.9-per-cent rise in March 2022 compared to a year ago. Several route areas are actually above pre-pandemic levels, including Europe to Central America, Middle East to North America and North America to Central America. April 2022 international RPKs were down 43.4 per cent compared to the same month in 2019.
Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General, commented: “With the lifting of many border restrictions, we are seeing the long-expected surge in bookings as people seek to make up for two years of lost travel opportunities. April data is cause for optimism in almost all markets, except China, which continues to severely restrict travel. The experience of the rest of the world is demonstrating that increased travel is manageable with high levels of population immunity and the normal systems for disease surveillance. We hope that China can recognise this success soon and take its own steps towards normality.”