close
Travel magazine

Resumption of air transport, strong international traffic – Airways Magazine

DALLAS – The International Air Transport Association (IATA) reports that air traffic resumed its solid recovery trend in April.

The report adds that despite the war in Ukraine and travel restrictions in China, the recovery is driven by global demand for air travel.

Photo: LHR Airports

Key points to remember


In April 2022, total air travel demand (measured in revenue passenger kilometers or RPK) increased 78.7% from April 2021, and slightly ahead of the 76.0% year-on-year gain. the other recorded in March 2022.

Domestic air travel fell 1.0% in April from the same month a year earlier, reversing a 10.6% increase in March. This was entirely due to the strict travel restrictions in place in China, which saw domestic traffic drop 80.8% year-on-year. Domestic traffic is down 25.8% in April compared to April 2019.

International RPKs increased by 331.9% from April 2021 to March 2022, exceeding the 289.9% increase from the previous year. Several routes, including Europe – Central America, Middle East – North America, and North America – Central America, are actually above pre-pandemic levels.

April 2022 international RPKs were down 43.4% from the same month in 2019.

British Airways G-XLEB Airbus A380-841. Photo: Brandon Farris/Airways

International passenger markets


  • European carriers » International traffic in April increased by 480.0% compared to April 2021, a substantial increase compared to the increase of 434.3% in March 2022 compared to the same month in 2021. Capacity increased by 233.5% and load factor increased by 33.7 percentage points to 79.4%.
  • Asia Pacific Airlines saw their April international traffic climb by 290.8% compared to April 2021, a significant improvement on the 197.2% gain recorded in March 2022 compared to March 2021. Capacity increased by 88, 6% and the load factor increased by 34.6 percentage points to 66.8%, still the lowest among Regions.
  • Middle Eastern Airlines recorded a 265.0% increase in demand in April compared to April 2021, exceeding the increase of 252.7% in March 2022, compared to the same month in 2021. April capacity increased by 101 .0% over the prior year period and load factor increased by 32.2 percentage points to 71.7%.
  • North American Carriers » April traffic increased by 230.2% compared to the 2021 period, slightly above the increase of 227.9% in March 2022 compared to March 2021. Capacity increased by 98.5% and the load factor increased by 31.6 percentage points to reach 79.3%.
  • Latin American airlines experienced a 263.2% increase in traffic in April, compared to the same month in 2021, exceeding the 241.2% increase in March 2022 compared to March 2021. April capacity increased by 189.1 % and load factor increased by 16.8 percentage points to 82.3%, which was easily the highest load factor among the regions for the 19th consecutive month.
  • african airlines traffic increased 116.2% in April 2022 compared to a year ago, an acceleration from the 93.3% year-over-year increase recorded in March 2022. The capacity of April 2022 increased by 65.7% and the load factor increased by 15.7 percentage points to 67.3%.
Virgin Atlantic G-VZIG Boeing 787-9. Photo: Brandon Farris/Airways

Domestic passenger markets


  • australia domestic demand rose 47.5% from April 2021, an improvement from the 36.5% rise in traffic in March, due to the lifting of travel restrictions and growing consumer confidence.
  • Japan also recorded monthly gains, with domestic RPKs up 57.0% year-over-year, compared to a 46.5% increase in March 2022 compared to March 2021.

2022 versus 2019
Total passenger demand in April decreased by 37.2% compared to the same month in 2019, which represents an improvement from the 41.3% decline recorded in March 2022 compared to March 2019.

Photo: Brando Faris/Airways

IATA Comments


Willie Walsh, IATA’s chief executive, said of the recovery statistics: “With many border restrictions lifted, we are seeing the long-awaited surge in bookings as people look to catch up on two years of lost travel opportunities The April data inspires optimism in nearly every market except China, which continues to severely restrict travel.

Walsh added: “Experience from the rest of the world demonstrates that increased travel is manageable with high levels of population immunity and normal disease surveillance systems. We hope that China can soon recognize this success and take its own steps towards normality. »

“In less than two weeks, leaders of the global aviation community will gather in Doha for IATA’s 78th Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Global Air Transport Summit. This year’s AGM will take place as an all-in-person event for the first time since 2019. This should send a strong signal that it is time for governments to lift all remaining restrictions and requirements and prepare for a response. enthusiasm of consumers who vote. with their feet for a full restoration of their right to travel,” Walsh said.


Featured Image: Doha Hamad Airport

Cory E. Barnes

The author Cory E. Barnes