The International Air Transport Association (IATA) yesterday released its passenger data for June 2022 showing a strong recovery in air travel across all regions.
The association, representing 290 airlines, however, noted that it has returned to year-on-year traffic comparisons, instead of comparisons with the 2019 period, unless otherwise noted. Owing to the low traffic base in 2021, some markets will show very high year-on-year growth rates, even if the size of these markets is still significantly smaller than they were in 2019, it said.
According to the data, total traffic in June 2022 (measured in revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs) was up 76.2% compared to June 2021, primarily propelled by the ongoing strong recovery in international traffic. Globally, traffic is now at 70.8% of pre-crisis levels. Domestic traffic for June 2022 was up 5.2% compared to the year-ago period.
Strong improvements in most markets, combined with the easing of some Omicron-related lockdown restrictions in the Chinese domestic market, contributed to the result. Total June 2022 domestic traffic was at 81.4% of the June 2019 level. All regions including Africa recorded a rise in traffic.
African airlines had a 103.6% rise in June RPKs versus a year ago. June 2022 capacity was up 61.9% and load factor climbed 15.2 percentage points to 74.2%, the lowest among regions. International traffic between Africa and neighbouring regions is close to pre-pandemic levels, the data revealed.
International traffic also rose 229.5% versus June 2021, IATA observed, saying, “The lifting of travel restrictions in most parts of Asia-Pacific is contributing to the recovery. June 2022 international RPKs reached 65.0% of June 2019 levels.
“Demand for air travel remains strong. After two years of lockdowns and border restrictions people are taking advantage of the freedom to travel wherever they can,” said IATA’s Director General, Willie Walsh.