As the world continues to navigate the post-pandemic era, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has reported a robust surge in air travel, with September 2023 witnessing a significant uptick in passenger traffic.
The Asia Pacific region has emerged as the frontrunner in the post-pandemic aviation recovery. IATA’s September 2023 report showcases the resilience and renewed demand in air travel, which signals a return to pre-pandemic levels.
Carriers in Asia-Pacific, including Australia and New Zealand, led the global recovery, with traffic for September 2023 reaching 92.6 per cent of the levels seen in 2019, a pre-pandemic benchmark.
In contrast, the global market traffic rose by 30.1 per cent compared to September 2022, at 97.3 per cent of pre-COVID levels. Domestically, traffic hit new records, surpassing September 2019 levels by 5 per cent. The international front also showed resilience, with a 31.2 per cent increase compared to the previous year.
Domestic aviation capacity in Australia grew 7.2 per cent versus September 2022.
Perhaps not surprisingly, China’s domestic market, in particular, showed remarkable growth, with a 168.7 per cent increase from the previous year. This growth, however, was from a lower base due to restrictions reintroduced in September 2022. Japan’s market also rebounded with a 19.9 per cent rise in traffic, overcoming the adverse impacts of typhoons in August.
The bottom line
Giving his insights to the latest report, IATA director general Willie Walsh said, “With the end of 2023 fast approaching, we can look back on a year of a solid recovery in demand as passengers took full advantage of their freedom to travel. There is every reason to believe that this momentum can be maintained in the New Year despite economic and political uncertainties in parts of the world. But we need the whole value chain to be ready.
Supply chain issues in the aircraft manufacturing sector are unacceptable. They have held back the recovery, and solutions must be found. The same holds true for infrastructure providers, particularly air navigation service providers.
“Equipment failures, staffing shortages, and labour unrest made it impossible to deliver the flying experience our customers expected. A successful 2024 needs the whole value chain to be fully prepared to handle the demand that is coming,” said Walsh.
Australian Airports have seen numerous new and increased flight capacities in recent weeks, with Sydney and Brisbane Airports, in particular, benefiting from enhanced Asian carrier commitments. Read here for all the latest aviation updates.
As the final quarter of 2023 unwinds, IATA said the aviation industry is optimistic, banking on the recovery momentum to carry forward into the new year despite economic and political uncertainties.
IATA (International Air Transport Association) represents some 300 airlines comprising 83 per cent of global air traffic.
For the full report, head to www.iata.org
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