Air travel demand is expected to soar in the northern hemisphere this summer, said Airports Council International (ACI) World this week.
More specifically, according to ACI World’s latest quarterly airport traffic outlook, global passenger volume is set to reach 8.4 billion in 2023, recouping 92 percent of pre-Covid 2019 levels.
ACI analysts attribute the improving demand to the easing of inflation, increasing consumer confidence in most OECD countries, and declining jet fuel prices.
According to the report, airports in the northern hemisphere are expected to handle 2.7 billion passengers in the second quarter of the year (April-June) and 2.9 billion in Q3 (July-September).
“Increasing passenger volumes, rising consumer confidence in most OECD countries, combined with declining jet fuel prices, suggests air travel demand will remain strong into the northern hemisphere summer season,” said ACI World Director General Luis Felipe de Oliveira.
He went on to add that the reopening of the Chinese aviation market is expected to contribute to global activity and international air travel demand.
Oliveira warned however that there must be vigilance. “GDP growth forecasts have moderated and energy and food prices, although decreased from their peak levels, remain higher than pre-pandemic levels. Inflation will also be an issue in the near term, straining the financial viability of airports as they face increased operational costs,” he said, calling on governments to support airports by allowing them to operate as independent businesses.
“Flexible global policies on charges can help airports recover and grow sustainably, optimize the customer experience, invest in current and future infrastructure, meet decarbonization targets, and maximize airports’ social and economic benefits amongst many other benefits,” he said.
ACI is an umbrella trade body representing the world’s airports serving 712 members and operating 1,925 airports in 171 countries.