Passenger Demand Remains Strong in January 2023: IATA
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Passenger Demand Remains Strong in January 2023: IATA

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Emilio Aristegui By Emilio Aristegui | Junior Journalist and Industry Analyst - Tue, 03/14/2023 - 15:59

Global passenger traffic continues to follow a road to recovering pre-pandemic levels in 2023, reports the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which also forecasted strong spring and summer seasons. 

IATA announced that air travel demand continues recovering and reported positive traffic results for January 2023. Global passenger traffic stands at 84.2% of January 2019 levels. Several markets were off to a healthy start at the beginning of 2023. 

Total traffic, measured in revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs), rose 67.0% in January 2023 in comparison to January 2022, according to IATA. The association highlighted that domestic traffic and international traffic increased during the same period by 32.7% and 104%, respectively. IATA attributed the increase in domestic traffic to the lifting of the zero-COVID-19 policy in China and highlighted that total January 2023 domestic traffic stood at 97.4% of the January 2019 levels. The Asia-Pacific region led the increase in international traffic, which stood at 77% of January 2019 levels in RPKs. 

“Air travel demand is off to a very healthy start in 2023. The rapid removal of COVID-19 restrictions for Chinese domestic and international travel bodies well for the continued strong industry recovery from the pandemic throughout the year. And, importantly, we have not seen the many economic and geopolitical uncertainties of the day dampening demand for travel,” says Willie Walsh, Director General, IATA via a press release.

IATA’s in-depth analysis of the air passenger market found that North America represents 28.9% of passenger traffic, while Latin America 6.4%. The North American regions grew 42.2% in RPKs and 78.4% in load factor levels. Latin America also grew 24.3% RPKs year-over-year and increased its load factor levels by 81.3%. 

Walsh explains that travel demand has been resilient during the winter season, which is traditionally slower in the Northern Hemisphere. However, he adds that forecasts indicate that during the spring and the summer an increase in travel demand will likely benefit further increases in air passenger traffic globally. 

During 2023, Mexico’s three main airport groups have reported an increase in passenger traffic.  In February, Grupo Aeroportuario Centro Norte (OMA) announced an increase of 33.7% in passengers in comparison to February 2022. Grupo Aeroportuario del Pacífico (GAP) reported a total increase in passenger traffic of 21.8% during the same period, while Grupo Aeroportuario del Sureste (ASUR) reported a 24.3% increase, as reported by MBN.

Photo by:   Image by OrnaW from Pixabay

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