The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said that demand for passengers was still quite high in April. Revenue passenger kilometres, or RPKs, which represent overall traffic, increased by 45.8 per cent from April 2022 to April 2023. Traffic is now 90.5 per cent of pre-Covid levels worldwide. Only 1.8 percentage points separated the industry load factor from its pre-pandemic level of 81.3 per cent.
Domestic traffic for April increased by 2.9 per cent over April 2019 figures, up 42.6 per cent from the same month last year. Domestic traffic has now fully recovered.
In comparison to April 2022, international traffic increased by 48.0 per cent, with carriers in the Asia-Pacific region continuing to lead the rebound in all markets. International RPKs surpassed April 2019 levels by 83.6 per cent.
“April continued the strong traffic trend we saw in the 2023 first quarter. The easing of inflation and rising consumer confidence in most OECD countries combined with declining jet fuel prices, suggests sustained strong air travel demand and moderating cost pressures,” said Willie Walsh, Director General, IATA.
In comparison to April 2022, traffic for Asia-Pacific airlines increased by 192.7 per cent in April 2023. The load factor rose 13.2 percentage points to 81.6 per cent while capacity rose 145.3 per cent.
“Heading into the Northern Hemisphere peak travel season, aircraft and airports are full of people eager to make use of their travel freedoms. Airlines are working hard to accommodate them with a smooth travel experience despite continuing supply chain shortages and other operational challenges. Sadly, some governments appear more keen on punitive regulation than on doing their part to enable hassle-free travel, he said.”
“In just a few days, leaders of the global aviation community will gather in Istanbul at the 79th IATA Annual General Meeting (AGM) and World Air Transport Summit. Regulation and other key issues, including the critical topic of sustainability, will be on the agenda,” said Walsh.