IATA: Booking Data Points to Strong Summer Travel Season
The levels of confidence among travelers for the peak Northern summer travel holiday season are high, according to a survey carried out by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
The survey’s conclusion corresponds with first quarter 2023 forward bookings data for May – September which is tracking at 35 percent above 2022 levels.
According to Nick Careen, IATA’s Senior Vice President for Operations, Safety and Security, expectations are high for this year’s peak Northern summer travel season.
The survey, covering 4,700 travelers in 11 countries, shows that:
- 79 percent of travelers are planning a trip in the June-August 2023 period
- 85 percent said that peak travel season disruptions should not be a surprise
- 80 percent expect smooth travel with post-pandemic issues having been resolved.
“For many this will be their first post-pandemic travel experience. While some disruptions can be expected, there is a clear expectation that the ramping-up issues faced at some key hub airports in 2022 will have been resolved,” Careen said.
IATA’s survey revealed that forward bookings data indicates that greatest growth is expected in the Asia Pacific region (134.7 percent), the Middle East (42.9 percent), Europe (39.9 percent), Africa (36.4 percent), Latin America (21.4 percent) and North America (14.1 percent).
The association highlights that to meet strong demand, airlines are planning schedules based on the capacity that airports, border control, ground handlers, and air navigation service providers have declared.
“Over the next months, all industry players now need to deliver,” Careen added.
IATA highlights that “collaboration, sufficient staffing and accurate information sharing” are all essential to minimize operational disruptions and their impact on passengers.
“The key is ensuring that the capacities which have been declared and scheduled are available,” the association notes.
Labor unrest, particularly in France, is cause for concern. Eurocontrol data on the impact of French strikes earlier this year shows that cancellations can spike by over a third.
“We need to keep a very careful eye on Europe where strike actions have caused significant disruptions earlier this year. Governments should have effective contingency plans in place so that the actions of those providing essential services like air traffic control maintain minimum service levels and do not disrupt the hard-earned vacations of those traveling or put at risk the livelihoods of those in the travel and tourism sectors,” said Careen.