Asia-Pacific logs over 92% increase in air traffic in Sept; total traffic up by 30.1%: IATA, ET TravelWorld


<p>Representative Image </p>
Representative Image

In September, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced that the strong post-pandemic passenger traffic trend continued, providing a solid end to the third quarter of 2023.

As per the data, the Asia-Pacific region stood out with a remarkable 92.6 per cent increase in traffic for September 2023 compared to September 2022, continuing to lead in terms of annual improvement. The region also witnessed a capacity increase of 82.1 per cent, and the load factor improved by 4.5 percentage points, reaching 82.5 per cent.

Total traffic in September 2023, measured in revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs), rose by a substantial 30.1 per cent compared to September 2022, and this growth pushed global traffic to 97.3 per cent of pre-Covid levels.

Notably, the domestic traffic reached a new high for the month of September, with a remarkable 28.3 per cent increase compared to September 2022, surpassing September 2019 levels by 5.0 per cent.

International traffic also surged, climbing by 31.2 per cent compared to the previous year, and all markets saw double-digit percentage gains. International RPKs reached an impressive 93.1 per cent of September 2019 levels.

“The third quarter of 2023 ended on a high note, with record domestic passenger demand for the month of September and continued strong international traffic,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.

Diving into specific international passenger markets, European carriers reported a solid performance with a 15.7 per cent rise in September traffic compared to September 2022. Additionally, capacity increased by 14.9 per cent, and the load factor slightly edged up by 0.6 percentage points to 85.5 per cent.

Middle Eastern airlines experienced a 26.6 per cent increase in September traffic compared to the previous year. Capacity also rose by 23.7 per cent, and the load factor climbed by 1.9 percentage points to 81.8 per cent.

North American carriers saw an 18.9 per cent rise in traffic for September 2023 compared to the same period in 2022. Capacity increased by 18.0 per cent, and the load factor showed a modest improvement of 0.6 percentage points, reaching 85.6 per cent.

Latin American airlines reported an increase in traffic, with a growth of 26.8 per cent compared to the same month in 2022. September capacity also saw a healthy climb of 24.7 per cent, and the load factor rose by 1.4 percentage points to 85.8 per cent.

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African airlines posted a 28.1 per cent increase in traffic for September 2023 compared to the previous year, although they faced a slight decline in the load factor, dropping by 1.0 percentage point to 72.6 per cent.

China‘s domestic market continued to perform well, with a staggering 168.7 per cent year-over-year increase in demand. However, it’s important to note that this growth is measured from a relatively low base in September 2022, when domestic travel restrictions were reintroduced in some Chinese provinces.

Japan‘s domestic traffic rebounded strongly from the impact of typhoons in August, with RPKs rising by 19.9 per cent compared to September 2022.

IATA, representing approximately 300 airlines, covering 83 per cent of global air traffic, compiles statistics based on direct airline reporting and estimates, including data from FlightRadar24 under license. These statistics encompass international and domestic scheduled air traffic for both member and non-member airlines.

Looking ahead, IATA’s Walsh emphasised the importance of preparing the entire aviation value chain to handle the expected demand in 2024. He expressed concerns about supply chain issues in the aircraft manufacturing sector and challenges faced by infrastructure providers, particularly air navigation service providers, due to equipment failures, staffing shortages, and labour unrest.

  • Published On Nov 11, 2023 at 09:37 AM IST

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