February 26, 2024
Aviation

Its the perfect takeoff for Northern hemisphere summer travel season

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has confirmed that the annual northern hemisphere summer travel season got off to a flying start in June 2023, buttressed by double-digit demand growth and average load factors even topping 84%.

Representing some 300 airlines comprising 83% of global air traffic, Geneva-headquartered IATA has also vouched that the post-pandemic recovery momentum continued in June 2023 for air passenger markets across the globe.

Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General, stated: “The northern summer [air] travel season got off to a strong start in June with double-digit demand growth and average load factors topping 84%.

“Planes are full, which is good news for airlines, local economies, and travel and tourism-dependent jobs. All benefit from the industry’s ongoing recovery.”

In essence, total air traffic in June 2023 (measured in revenue passenger kilometres or RPKs) rose 31.0% compared to June 2022.

Global peak

Globally, air traffic is now at 94.2% of pre-pandemic levels, while for the first half of 2023, total traffic was up 47.2% compared to the year-ago period, according to IATA.

International air traffic climbed 33.7% versus June 2022 with all markets showing robust growth. International RPKs reached 88.2% of June 2019 levels. In the first half of 2023 international traffic was up 58.6% over the first half of 2022.

Domestic air traffic for June rose 27.2% compared to the same month a year ago and was 5.1% above the June 2019 results. Domestic demand was up 33.3% in the 2023 first half compared to a year ago.

2022 scenario

Total air passenger traffic market shares by region of carriers for 2022 in terms of RPK are Asia-Pacific 22.1%, Europe 30.8%, North America 28.8%, Middle East 9.8%, Latin America 6.4%, and Africa 2.1%.

Middle Eastern airlines’ June 2023 traffic climbed 29.2% compared to June 2022. Image: Arnold Pinto/menews247
Middle Eastern airlines’ June 2023 traffic rose 29.2% compared to June 2022. Image: Arnold Pinto/menews247

Walsh added: “As strong as travel demand has been, arguably it could be even stronger. 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,” Walsh concluded.

International air passenger markets

Among global air passenger markets, Asia-Pacific airlines had a 128.1% increase in June 2023 traffic compared to June 2022, easily the largest percentage gain among the regions. Capacity climbed 115.6% and the load factor increased by 4.6 percentage points to 82.9%.

European carriers posted a 14.0% traffic rise in June 2023 versus June 2022. Capacity rose 12.6%, and load factor climbed 1.1 percentage points to 87.8%, which was the second highest among the regions.

The IATA chief says air travel could be even stronger than what it is. Image: Arnold Pinto/menews247
The IATA chief says air travel could be even stronger than what it is. Image: Arnold Pinto/menews247

Middle Eastern airlines’ June 2023 traffic climbed 29.2% compared to June 2022. Capacity rose 25.9% and load factor improved by 2.0 percentage points to 79.8%.

North American carriers saw traffic climb 23.3% in June 2023 versus the 2022 period. Capacity increased by 19.5%, and the load factor rose 2.7 percentage points to 90.2%, which was the highest among the regions.

Latin American airlines had a 25.8% traffic increase in June 2023 compared to the same month in 2022. June 2023 capacity climbed 25.0% and load factor rose 0.6 percentage points to 84.8%.

African airlines’ traffic rose 34.7% in June 2023 versus a year ago, the second-highest percentage gain among the regions. June 2023 capacity was up 44.8% and load factor fell 5.1 percentage points to 68.1%, the lowest among the regions. Africa was the only region to see a decline in the monthly international load factor compared to the year-ago period.

Domestic air passenger markets

Australia’s domestic traffic slipped 1.7% in June 2023 compared to June 2022. It was the only domestic market to see a year-over-year traffic decline in June, although traffic remained 3.9% above pre-pandemic levels.

Indian airlines’ domestic demand climbed 14.8% in June 2023 and was 1.3% above the June 2019 level.

IATA data sets encompass international and domestic scheduled air traffic for IATA member and non-member airlines.

Last Updated on 2 months by Arnold Pinto

    Arnold Pinto

    Arnold Pinto

    Arnold Pinto is an award-winning journalist with wide-ranging Middle East and Asia experience in the tech, space, aerospace, aviation, defence, luxury watchmaking, business, fashion, and automotive verticals. He is passionate about conserving endangered native wildlife globally and protecting the world’s oceans from plastic pollution, overfishing, and climate change. Arnold enjoys 4x4 off-roading, camping and exploring global destinations off the beaten track.
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