Global air travel at 68.5% of pre-virus level in 2022

Air traffic jumped 64.4% from year earlier thanks to strong passenger demand, according to International Air Transport Association

Global air traffic in 2022 reached 68.5% of its pre-pandemic level, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Air traffic measured in revenue passenger kilometers, or RPKs surged 64.4% from a year earlier in 2022, IATA data showed.

“The industry left 2022 in far stronger shape than it entered, as most governments lifted COVID-19 travel restrictions during the year and people took advantage of the restoration of their freedom to travel,” Willie Walsh, IATA’s director general, said in a statement on Monday.

“This momentum is expected to continue in the New Year, despite some governments’ over-reactions to China’s re-opening,” Walsh added.

International traffic jumped 152.7% from 2021, with RPKs reaching 62.2% of the 2019 level, according to IATA.

According to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), international tourism made 63% of its pre-virus level in 2022 despite doubling from a year ago.

A total of 917 million tourists traveled internationally last year, up 101.6% from the previous year, the report UNWTO released last month showed.

Domestic air traffic increased 10.9% year-on-year to 79.6% of the pre-pandemic level.

Separate IATA data on Monday showed that demand for air cargo measured in cargo ton-kilometers decreased 8% on an annual basis in 2022. Compared to 2019, it was down 1.6%, both globally and internationally.


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