IATA: Strong January Travel Demand Sets Stage for Busier Spring and Summer
Strong demand in January is contributing to global post-Covid recovery, said the International Air Transport Association (IATA) this week.
More specifically, according to IATA data for the first month of the year, total traffic increased by 67.0 percent over January 2022 bringing global air traffic to 84.2 percent of January 2019 levels.
Domestic traffic in January was up by 32.7 percent compared to the same month a year ago after China lifted its Covid restrictions bringing total January 2023 domestic traffic to 97.4 percent of January 2019 levels.
International traffic rose by 104.0 percent over January 2022 with all markets recording strong growth.
European airlines reported a 60.6 percent increase in traffic compared to January 2022 and 30.1 percent rise in capacity while load factor rose 14.2 percentage points to 75.0 percent.
In Greece, the country’s largest airport, Athens International Airport (AIA) exceeded pre-Covid 2019 figures in January for the first time since the outbreak of the pandemic. AIA welcomed a total of 1.45 million passengers in the first month of 2023, marking an 87.2 percent increase compared to January 2022 and up by 3.9 percent compared to 1.39 million in the pre-Covid period.
“Air travel demand is off to a very healthy start in 2023. The rapid removal of Covid-19 restrictions for Chinese domestic and international travel bodes well for the continued strong industry recovery from the pandemic throughout the year,” said IATA Director General Willie Walsh.
The largest increase was recorded by Asia-Pacific carriers with air traffic up by 376.3 percent over January 2022, capacity by 167.1 percent and load factor by 36.6 percentage points to 83.3 percent.
“With strong travel demand continuing through the traditionally slower winter season in the Northern Hemisphere, the stage is set for an even busier spring and summer,” said Walsh.