Geneva - The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced that the air travel recovery continued through November 2022.
Total traffic in November 2022 (measured in revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs) rose 41.3% compared to November 2021. Globally, traffic is now at 75.3% of November 2019 levels.
International traffic rose 85.2% versus November 2021. The Asia-Pacific continued to report the strongest year-over-year results with all regions showing improvement compared to the prior year. November 2022 international RPKs reached 73.7% of November 2019 levels.
Domestic traffic for November 2022 was up 3.4% compared to November 2021 with travel restrictions in China continuing to dampen the global result. Total November 2022 domestic traffic was at 77.7% of the November 2019 level.
“Traffic results in November reinforce that consumers are thoroughly enjoying the freedom to travel. Unfortunately, the reactions to China’s reopening of international travel in January reminds us that many governments are still playing science politics when it comes to COVID-19 and travel. Epidemiologists, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and others have said that the reintroduction of testing for travelers from China can do little to contain a virus that is already present around the world. And China’s objections to these policy measures are compromised by their own pre-departure testing requirements for people traveling to China. Governments should focus on using available tools to manage COVID-19 effectively—including improved therapeutics and vaccinations—rather than repeating policies that have failed time and again over the last three years,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.
International Passenger Markets
Asia-Pacific airlines had a 373.9% rise in November traffic compared to November 2021, which was the strongest year-over-year rate among the regions. Capacity rose 159.2% and the load factor was up 35.9 percentage points to 79.2%.
European carriers’ November traffic climbed 45.3% versus November 2021. Capacity increased 25.1%, and load factor moved up 11.6 percentage points to 83.6%, highest among the regions.
Middle Eastern airlines saw an 84.6% traffic rise in November compared to November 2021. November capacity increased 45.4% versus the year-ago period, and load factor climbed 16.5 percentage points to 77.7%.
North American carriers experienced a 69.9% traffic rise in November versus the 2021 period. Capacity increased 45.5%, and load factor climbed 11.6 percentage points to 81.0%.
Latin American airlines’ November traffic rose 59.2% compared to the same month in 2021. November capacity climbed 55.6% and load factor increased 1.9 percentage points to 82.9%.
African airlines had an 83.5% rise in November RPKs versus a year ago. November 2022 capacity was up 48.4% and load factor climbed 14.2 percentage points to 74.3%, the lowest among regions.
Domestic Passenger Markets
Brazil’s domestic RPKs rose 5.1% in November compared to November 2021 and are now at 96.2% of 2019 levels.
US domestic traffic climbed 5.0% in November compared to November 2021, pushing it to 99% of the November 2019 level.
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Jim Hepple is an Assistant Professor at the University of Aruba and is Managing Director of Tourism Analytics.