Global air travel reaches 94.1 percent of pre-pandemic levels: IATA

Driven by strong demand
Global air travel reaches 94.1 percent of pre-pandemic levels: IATA
RPKs surged by 36.9 percent compared to the previous year

Data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) showed that global air travel in 2023 reached 94.1 percent of its pre-pandemic level, driven by strong demand.

Findings revealed that air traffic, measured in revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs), increased by 36.9 percent compared to the previous year.

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Domestic travel experienced a significant surge of 30.4 percent in 2023, surpassing pre-virus levels by 3.9 percent. However, international traffic remained 11.5 percent below 2019 levels, despite a 41.6 percent rise from 2022.

Willie Walsh, director general of IATA, highlighted the importance of restoring connectivity to power the global economy. He underscored the various purposes for air travel, such as business trips, education, vacations, and more.

Walsh called on governments to adopt a strategic approach to maximize the benefits of air travel in the post-pandemic era. This includes providing cost-efficient infrastructure to meet demand, incentivizing the production of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) to achieve the net-zero carbon emission goal by 2050, and implementing regulations that offer clear cost-benefit outcomes.

In terms of air freight, global demand, measured in cargo ton-kilometers, decreased by 1.9 percent compared to 2022 and remained 3.6 percent below pre-pandemic levels. However, capacity, measured in available cargo ton-kilometers, increased by 11 percent compared to the previous year.

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