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Globally, air traffic at 84.9 percent of 2019 levels

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Muscat: The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced continued strong growth in air travel demand, based on February 2023 traffic results.

Total traffic in February 2023 (measured in revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs) rose 55.5 percent compared to February 2022.

Globally, traffic is now at 84.9 percent of February 2019 levels.

Domestic traffic for February rose 25.2 percent compared to the year-ago period. Total February 2023 domestic traffic was at 97.2 percent of the February 2019 level.

International traffic climbed 89.7 percent versus February 2022 with all markets recording strong growth, led once again by carriers in the Asia-Pacific region. International RPKs reached 77.5 percent of February 2019 levels.

“Despite the uncertain economic signals, demand for air travel continues to be strong across the globe and particularly in the Asia-Pacific region. The industry is now just about 15 percent below 2019 levels of demand and that gap is narrowing each month,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.

on Passenger Markets

Asia-Pacific Airlines had a 378.7 percent increase in February 2023 traffic compared to February 2022, maintaining the very positive momentum of the past few months since the lifting of travel restrictions in the region. Capacity rose 176.4 percent and the load factor increased 34.9 percentage points to 82.5 percent, the second highest among the regions.

European carriers posted a 47.9 percent traffic rise versus February 2022. Capacity climbed 29.7 percent, and the load factor rose 9.1 percentage points to 73.7 percent, which was the lowest among the regions.

Middle Eastern airlines saw a 75 percent traffic increase compared to February a year ago. Capacity climbed 40.5 percent and the load factor pushed up 15.8 percentage points to 80.0 percent.

North American carriers’ traffic climbed 67.4% in February 2023 versus the 2022 period. Capacity increased by 39.5 percent, and the load factor rose 12.8 percentage points to 76.6 percent.

Latin American airlines had a 44.1% traffic increase compared to the same month in 2022. February capacity climbed 34% and the load factor rose 5.8 percentage points to 82.7%, the highest among the regions.

African airlines’ traffic rose 90.7 percent in February 2023 versus a year ago. February capacity was up 61.7% and the load factor climbed 11.4 percentage points to 75.0%.

Domestic traffic carried by airlines of the Middle East grew 1 % YoY and continued to increase towards pre-pandemic RPKs at 95.4% of February 2019 levels. In Africa, domestic passenger traffic increased 75.5% YoY.

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