IATA: Passenger demand stays strong in January
IATA has said recovery in air travel demand is continuing in 2023, based on January traffic results.
Domestic traffic for January 2023 rose 32.7% compared to the year-ago period, helped by the lifting of the zero-COVID policy in China. Total January 2023 domestic traffic was at 97.4% of the January 2019 level.
International traffic climbed 104.0% versus January 2022 with all markets recording strong growth, led by carriers in the Asia-Pacific region. International RPKs reached 77.0% of January 2019 levels.
“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 bodes 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,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s director general.
Middle Eastern airlines’ January traffic rose 97.7% compared to January a year ago. Capacity increased 45.9% and load factor climbed 20.8 percentage points to 79.2%.
African airlines’ traffic rose 124.8% in January 2023 versus a year ago. January capacity was up 82.5% and load factor climbed 13.9 percentage points to 73.7%, the lowest among regions.
Asia-Pacific airlines posted a 376.3% increase in January traffic compared to January 2022, by far the strongest year-over-year rate among the regions, but off of a very low base when much of the region was still closed to travel. Capacity rose 167.1% and the load factor increased 36.6 percentage points to 83.3%, the highest among the regions.
European carriers saw a 60.6% traffic rise versus January 2022. Capacity increased 30.1%, and load factor rose 14.2 percentage points to 75.0%.
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