Business, leisure flights exceed 2019 levels first time since pandemic

Leisure flights 25% above pre-pandemic levels, business flights surpass 2019 level at end of March

Business and leisure flight bookings this year exceeded 2019 levels for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report by US-based multinational financial services corporation Mastercard.

“Leisure flight bookings took off by the end of January and have remained above 2019 levels. By the end of April, flight bookings were 25% above pre-pandemic levels,”said the Mastercard Economics Institute’s report, ‘Travel 2022: Trends & Transitions’ that was released Wednesday.

“At the end of March 2022, business flight bookings exceeded 2019 levels for the first time since the pandemic started, an important milestone,” it added.

The US, UK, and Spain were the top international travel destinations based on flight bookings.

Europe has seen the largest increase with almost 550 million more flights so far in 2022, compared to last year.

The region was followed by the Asia Pacific with 430 million more flights, and North America with roughly 365 million more flights taken so far this year, compared to 2021.

“If flight booking trends continue at their current pace, an estimated 1.5 billion more passengers globally will fly in 2022 compared to last year,” it said.


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