May 28, 2024
Aviation Travel

Global Air Passenger Demand Up By 21.5% In February 2024

All Regions Reported Double-Digit Growth

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has reported a substantial increase in global passenger demand for February 2024 compared to last year.

According to the latest data released by the IATA, global passenger demand, measured in revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs), soared by an impressive 21.5% in February 2024 compared to February 2023.

Concurrently, total capacity, measured in available seat kilometres (ASK), experienced an 18.7% year-on-year rise. The overall load factor for February stood at 80.6%, marking a notable increase of 1.9 percentage points compared to February 2023.

On an international scale, passenger demand exhibited a robust growth of 26.3% year-on-year, accompanied by a 25.5% increase in capacity. The load factor for international flights improved to 79.3%, up by 0.5 percentage points from February 2023.

Domestically, passenger demand surged by 15.0% compared to February 2023, with capacity registering a 9.4% year-on-year increase. The load factor for domestic flights reached 82.6%, reflecting a substantial improvement of 4.0 percentage points from February 2023.

Leap Year Consideration

Notably, February 2024, being a leap year with an additional day compared to February 2023, slightly magnified the growth in both demand and capacity.

Reflecting on the data, Willie Walsh, Director General of IATA, expressed strong optimism for the industry’s prospects in 2024.

He underscored the industry’s remarkable resilience in the face of geopolitical and economic uncertainties, attributing the positive trajectory to accelerated investments in decarbonisation and robust passenger demand.

Walsh also cautioned against potential destabilisation from new taxes, particularly emphasising concerns regarding Europe’s tax proposals amid its sluggish economic recovery.

A detailed breakdown of the air passenger market in February 2024 reveals a global surge in demand.

Pre-Pandemic Levels Surpassed

All regions reported double-digit growth in international passenger markets, with demand surpassing pre-pandemic levels for the first time.

Notable highlights include a 53.2% year-on-year increase in demand for Asia-Pacific airlines, a 15.9% rise for European carriers, a 19.7% surge for Middle Eastern airlines, a 16.0% increase for North American carriers, a 21.0% growth for Latin American airlines, and a 20.7% rise for African airlines.

In domestic markets, China led the demand growth with a remarkable 35.1% increase compared to February 2023, benefitting from unrestricted Lunar New Year travel. This surge in China’s domestic market significantly shapes the global aviation industry.

The robust performance of the air passenger market in February 2024 underscores a positive outlook for the aviation industry, signalling a strong recovery from the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Featured image: Notable highlights in February 2024 include a 15.9% rise for European carriers. Credit: Arnold Pinto

    Arnold Pinto

    Arnold Pinto

    Arnold Pinto is an award-winning journalist with wide-ranging Middle East and Asia experience in the tech, aerospace, defence, luxury watchmaking, business, automotive, and fashion verticals. He is passionate about conserving endangered native wildlife globally. Arnold enjoys 4x4 off-roading, camping and exploring global destinations off the beaten track.
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