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IATA: Global Air Travel Recovery on Track in August

Peak travel season ends on a high note in August, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which released passenger data for the month this week.

More specifically, total traffic in August was up by 67.7 percent over the same month a year ago, recouping 73.7 percent of pre-Covid levels, IATA said.

The month’s domestic traffic was stronger by 26.5 percent compared to August 2021 and at 85.4 percent of August 2019 levels.

International traffic grew by 115.6 percent over August 2021 with airlines in Asia recording the strongest year-over-year growth. August 2022 international RPKs recovered 67.4 percent of August 2019 levels.

Airlines in Europe also saw traffic climb to 78.8 percent compared to August 2021 with capacity up by 48.0 percent and load factor by 14.7 percentage points to 85.5 percent.

Europe recorded the second highest load factor after North America, IATA said. It also accounted for 25 percent of the global air passenger market share in August 2022, third after North America (32.6 percent) and Asia Pacific (27.5 percent).

North American carriers saw a 110.4 percent rise in traffic in August over the same month in 2021. Capacity increased by 69.7 percent and load factor by 16.9 percentage points to 87.2 percent – the highest among the regions.

“The Northern Hemisphere peak summer travel season finished on a high note. Considering the prevailing economic uncertainties, travel demand is progressing well. And the removal or easing of travel restrictions at some key Asian destinations, including Japan, will certainly accelerate the recovery in Asia,” said IATA Director General Willie Walsh.

Looking at domestic passenger markets, Australia posted a 449.0 percent year-over-year increase reaching 85.8 percent of 2019 levels and the US a 7.0 percent rise in August, compared to the same month last year.

Marking a year since IATA announced its aim to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, Walsh said: “Aviation is committed to decarbonizing by 2050, in line with the Paris agreement. And the energy transition required to achieve this must be supported by government policies. The near grounding of aviation during the pandemic highlighted how important aviation is to the modern world.”

IATA represents some 290 airlines which account for 83 percent of global air traffic.

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