Despite the fact that the pandemic is not yet gone, several governments throughout the world have either eased or eliminated Covid-19 restrictions. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has revealed the most recent international passenger data, which clearly reflect a solid resurgence.
Asia-Pacific airlines saw a 144.4 per cent increase in February traffic vs February 2021, slightly higher than the 125.8 per cent increase seen in January 2022 versus January 2021. The capacity increased by 60.8 percent, while the load factor increased by 16.1 percentage points to 47.0 percent, the lowest among regions.
European carriers’ February traffic increased 380.6 per cent compared to February 2021, outpacing the 224.3 per cent growth in January 2022 vs the same month in 2021. Capacity increased by 174.8 per cent, while load factor increased by 30.3 percentage points to 70.9 per cent.
The traffic of Middle Eastern airlines increased 215.3 per cent in February compared to February 2021, outpacing the 145.0 per cent growth in January 2022 vs the same month in 2021. Capacity increased 89.5 per cent year on year in February, while load factor increased 25.8 percentage points to 64.7 per cent.
North American carriers recorded a 236.7 per cent increase in traffic in February compared to the same period in 2021, which was much higher than the 149.0 per cent increase in January 2022 compared to January 2021. Capacity increased by 91.7 per cent, while load factor increased by 27.4 percentage points to 63.6 per cent.
Latin America airline traffic increased 242.7 per cent in February compared to the same month in 2021, outpacing the 155.2 per cent increase in January 2022 compared to January 2021. Capacity surged 146.3 per cent in February, while load factor improved 21.7 percentage points to 77.0 per cent, the greatest load factor among regions for the 17th consecutive month.
African airlines had a 69.5 per cent gain in February RPKs compared to the same month last year, a significant improvement over the 20.5 per cent year-over-year increase reported in January 2022 compared to the same month last year. Capacity increased by 34.7 per cent in February 2022, while load factor increased by 12.9 percentage points to 63.0 per cent.
The faster growth in February 2022 compared to the previous year is assisting passenger demand in catching up to 2019 levels. Total RPKs fell 45.5 per cent in February compared to February 2019, significantly ahead of the 49.6 per cent drop reported in January vs the same month in 2019. Domestic recovery continues to surpass overseas market recovery.
As the long-awaited recovery in air travel accelerates, our infrastructure providers must prepare for a significant increase in passenger numbers in the coming months. We are already seeing unacceptably long queues at several airports as a result of the increasing number of passengers, as well as long wait times when contacting an airline call centre.
The peak Northern summer travel season will be essential for job creation across the travel and tourism industry. Now is the time to get ready. ” Governments may assist by ensuring that border jobs are appropriately staffed and that background security checks for new employees are managed as effectively as possible” IATA Director General Willie Walsh said.