Air traffic worldwide in June recouped 94.2 percent of pre-Covid 2019 levels, rising by 31.0 percent compared to the same month a year ago, said the International Air Transport Association (IATA) this week.
International traffic rose by 33.7 percent over June 2022 with all markets showing robust growth, reaching 88.2 percent of June 2019 levels, said IATA.
Domestic traffic, meanwhile, rose by 27.2 percent in June compared to the same month in 2022 and by 5.1 percent over June 2019.
In the first half of the year (H1), global traffic increased by 47.2 percent compared to H1 a year ago with international traffic up by 58.6 percent over the H1 2022. Domestic demand, meanwhile, increased by 33.3 percent in H1 compared to H1 2022.
The northern summer travel season got off to a strong start
“The northern summer travel season got off to a strong start in June with double-digit demand growth and average load factors topping 84 percent. Planes are full which is good news for airlines, local economies, and travel and tourism dependent jobs,” said IATA Director General Willie Walsh, adding however that demand was “outrunning capacity growth”.
European airlines reported a 14.0 percent rise in traffic compared to June 2022 with capacity up by 12.6 percent and load factor by 1.1 percentage points to 87.8 percent – the second highest among the regions.
North American airline traffic rose by 23.3 percent in June 2023 compared to the 2022 period with capacity up by 19.5 percent and load factor by 2.7 percentage points to 90.2 percent, the highest among the regions.
In May, global air traffic reached 96.1 percent of 2019 figures for the same month.
Travel demand could be even stronger
According to Walsh, as strong as travel demand has been, “arguably it could be even stronger” as demand is outrunning capacity growth.
“Well documented problems in the aviation supply chain mean that many airlines have not taken delivery of all the new, more environmentally friendly aircraft they had expected, while numerous aircraft are parked awaiting critical spare parts. And, for the fleet that is in service, some air navigation service providers (ANSPs) are failing to deliver the requisite capacity and resilience to meet travel demand. Delays and trimmed schedules are frustrating for both passengers and their airlines. Governments cannot continue to ignore the accountability of ANSPs in places where passenger rights regimes place the brunt of accountability on airlines,” he said.