IATA has reported that global air
traffic in July 2023, measured in revenue passenger kilometers
(RPK), rose 26.2% compared to July 2022, and was at the equivalent
of 95.6% of pre-COVID levels.
Domestic traffic for July rose
21.5% versus July 2022 and was 8.3% above the July 2019 results.
July RPKs are the highest ever recorded, strongly supported by
surging demand in the China domestic market.
traffic climbed 29.6% compared to the same month a year ago with
all markets showing robust growth. International RPK reached 88.7% of July 2019 levels. The passenger load factor (PLF) for the
industry reached 85.7% which is the highest monthly international
PLF ever recorded.
“Planes were full during July as
people continue to travel in ever greater numbers. Importantly,
forward ticket sales indicate that traveler confidence remains
high. And there is every reason to be optimistic about the
continuing recovery,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.
Asia-Pacific airlines reported an 105.8% increase
in July 2023 traffic compared to July 2022, continuing to lead the
regions. Capacity climbed 96.2% and the load factor increased by
3.9 percentage points to 84.5%.
July traffic rose 13.8% versus July 2022, with capacity increasing
13.6%, while load factor edged up 0.1 percentage points to 87%.
Middle Eastern airlines posted a 22.6% increase in
July traffic compared to a year ago. Capacity rose 22.1% and load
factor climbed 0.3 percentage points to 82.6%.
North American carriers enjoyed a 17.7% traffic rise in July 2023
versus the 2022 period. Capacity increased 17.2%, and load factor
improved 0.3 percentage points to 90.3%, which was the highest
among the regions for a second consecutive month.
Latin American airlines’ traffic rose 25.3% compared to the same
month in 2022. July capacity climbed 21.2% and load factor rose
2.9 percentage points to 89.1%.
saw a 25.6% traffic increase in July 2023 versus a year ago, the
second highest percentage gain among the regions. July capacity
was up 27.4% and load factor fell 1.0 percentage point to 73.9%,
the lowest among the regions. For a second month in a row, Africa
was the only region to see capacity growth outrun traffic demand.
Northern Hemisphere summer is living up to expectations for very
strong traffic demand. While the industry was largely prepared to
accommodate a return to pre-pandemic levels of operations,
unfortunately, the same cannot be said for our infrastructure
providers. Performance of some of the key air navigations services
providers, for example, has been deeply disappointing for many
reasons from insufficient staffing to the failure fiasco of NATS
in the UK. These must be promptly corrected. Even more worrying,
however, are political decisions by some governments—among them
Mexico and the Netherlands—to impose capacity cuts at their major
hubs that will most certainly destroy jobs and damage local and
national economies. The numbers continue to tell us that people
want and need air connectivity. That’s why governments should be
working with us so that people can travel safely, sustainably and
efficiently,” said Walsh.
Domestic Traffic in China and US
China’s domestic traffic jumped 71.9% in July compared
to a year ago and is now 22.5% above July 2019 levels, which was
the strongest gain against pre-pandemic levels among the domestic
US airlines’ domestic demand climbed 11.1%
in July and was 3.0% above the July 2019 level.
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