The International Air Transport Association (IATA) recently came forth with the yearly traffic figures for December and 2022. These promising numbers demonstrate the airline industry‘s remarkable ability to bounce back after its tumultuous year, with IATA remarking, “Airlines continued to show resilience and adaptability in this difficult post-pandemic atmosphere.”
IATA The Airline Industry Started to Accelerate in 2022
2022 was a pivotal year in the resurgence of passenger traffic. Compared to 2021’s 42% revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs), RPKs rose to 69% at pre-pandemic levels by December. The airline industry saw an impressive growth of 40% on a yearly basis and finished the month at 23.1%, less than figures from 2019!
According to the data, Domestic and International Revenue Passenger Kilometres (RPKs) increased by 10.9% and 152.7%, respectively, from the previous year – a clear indication that consumers are enthusiastically taking advantage of travel opportunities once restrictions have been eased. The IATA expressed their understanding of this “strong willingness to travel” as they saw international traffic rise at an exponential rate.
Alleviation of Covid Measures is a Major Factor in the Recovery of the Airline Industry
Flights worldwide started to increase as nations began relaxing their COVID policies, leading to a dramatic rise in RPKs. According to reports from AviationSource, airlines resumed services between China and other Asian countries over the year, while Asia-Pacific travel saw a 302.7% surge in December 2022 when compared with figures of December 2021. Even more remarkable is that international traffic for the airline industry within this region skyrocketed by 360% throughout 2022!
Asia-Pacific continues to be the region with the most dominant year-on-year rate globally. The contribution of this area in terms of global passenger seat kilometers (RPK) is immensely high.
On the other hand, There Are New Challenges to be Overcome in 2023.
According to IATA’s 2022 Annual Review, the airline industry faces many obstacles heading into 2023. From dwindling economic growth and inflationary prices to the ever-increasing cost of fuel, airlines must address these challenges head-on for them to survive into 2021. Fortunately, there may still be some light at the end of this pandemic tunnel as Walsh expects “most regions will be at—or exceeding— pre-pandemic levels by late 2023,” and he even goes so far as saying that “governments should permanently discard all regulatory shackles preventing their citizens from traveling again.”
“Governments must recognize the insignificance of travel restrictions and border closures in preventing contagious disease outbreaks across our connected world. Instead, these measures bring about the immense detriment to individuals’ quality of life, jobs, and even the global economy that relies on unrestricted human movement and merchandise transportation.”