The recovery in air travel continues to be strong, reports the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
Releasing its July 2022 numbers on Wednesday (Sept. 7), IATA noted that total traffic in July 2022 (measured in revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs) was up 58.8 per cent compared to July 2021.
Globally, traffic is now at 74.6 per cent of pre-crisis levels, the association said.
Domestic traffic for July 2022 was up 4.1 per cent compared to the year-ago period and is now driving the recovery.
Total July 2022 domestic traffic was at 86.9 per cent of the July 2019 level and China, IATA said, saw strong month-to-month improvement compared to June.
International traffic rose 150.6 per cent versus July 2021 and July 2022 international RPKs reached 67.9 per cent of July 2019 levels.
All markets reported strong growth, led by Asia-Pacific, IATA said.
“July’s performance continued to be strong, with some markets approaching pre-COVID levels. And that is even with capacity constraints in parts of the world that were unprepared for the speed at which people returned to travel,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General, in a statement. “There is still more ground to recover, but this is an excellent sign as we head into the traditionally slower autumn and winter quarters in the Northern Hemisphere.”
North American carriers, in particular, had a 129.2 per cent traffic rise in July versus the 2021 period, according to IATA.
Capacity rose 79.9 per cent, and load factor climbed 19.4 percentage points to 90.3 per cent, which was the highest among the regions for a second month.
Restored freedom to travel
In IATA’s eyes, aviation continues to recover as people take advantage of their restored freedom to travel.
“The pandemic showed that aviation is not a luxury but a necessity in our globalized and interconnected world,” Walsh stated. “Aviation is committed to continuing to meet the demands of people and commerce and to do it sustainably. We have set a goal to achieve net zero CO2 emissions by 2050, which is in line with the targets of the Paris Agreement. Governments will have the opportunity to support our commitment by agreeing to a Long-Term Aspirational Goal (LTAG) of net zero aviation CO2 emissions by 2050 at the upcoming 41st Assembly of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).”
“With governments supporting the same goal and timeline, we and our value chain partners can move forward with confidence towards a net zero carbon future.”