International Air Transport Association: Air Travel Continues to Thrive

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Data released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) indicates that air travel has continued to thrive.

The IATA study found that total traffic in October rose 44.6 percent compared to the same month in 2021, with international traffic now at 74.2 percent of October 2019 levels.

North American carriers reported a 106.8 percent traffic rise in October versus the 2021 period, with capacity increasing 54.1 percent and load factor climbing 21.4 percentage points to 83.8 percent.

“Traditionally, by October we are into the slower autumn travel season in the Northern Hemisphere, so it is highly reassuring to see demand and forward bookings continuing to be so strong,” IATA Director General Willie Walsh said. “It bodes well for the coming winter season and the ongoing recovery.”

Overall domestic traffic for October dropped by 0.8 percent compared to last year as stringent COVID-related travel restrictions in China dampened global figures. Total October domestic traffic was at 77.9 percent of the October 2019 level, while domestic forward bookings remain at around 70 percent of pre-pandemic levels.

International traffic climbed 102.4 percent versus October 2021 and forward bookings for international travel increased to around 75 percent of pre-pandemic levels, following the re-openings announced by multiple Asian economies.

“People are enjoying the freedom to travel, and businesses recognize the importance of air transport to their success,” Walsh continued. “A recent survey of European business leaders doing business across borders showed that 84 percent could not imagine doing so without access to air transport networks and 89 percent believed being close to an airport with global connections gave them a competitive advantage.”

“Governments need to pay attention to the message that air travel is fundamental to how we live and work,” Walsh said.

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