Muscat: Middle Eastern airlines saw a 114.7 per cent traffic rise in October compared to October 2021, according to a new report.
“Capacity increased 55.7 per cent against the year-ago period, and load factor climbed 21.8 percentage points to 79.5 per cent, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said in its monthly report.
The report added that the recovery in air travel continued in October. Total traffic in October 2022 (measured in revenue passenger kilometres or RPKs) rose 44.6 per cent compared to October 2021. Globally, traffic is now at 74.2 per cent of October 2019 levels.
Domestic traffic for October 2022 slipped 0.8 per cent compared to the year-ago period as stringent COVID-related travel restrictions in China dampened global figures. Total October 2022 domestic traffic was at 77.9 per cent of the October 2019 level. Domestic forward bookings remain at around 70 per cent of the pre-pandemic level.
International traffic climbed 102.4 per cent versus October 2021. October 2022 international RPKs reached 72.1 per cent of October 2019 levels with all markets recording strong growth, led by Asia-Pacific. Forward bookings for international travel increased to around 75 per cent of pre-pandemic levels, following the re-openings announced by multiple Asian economies.
“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. It bodes well for the coming winter season and the ongoing recovery,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.
International passenger markets
Asia-Pacific airlines had a 440.4 per cent rise in October traffic compared to October 2021, easily the strongest year-over-year rate among the regions, but off a very low 2021 base. Capacity rose 165.6 per cent and the load factor climbed 39.5 percentage points to 77.7 per cent.
European carriers’ October traffic climbed 60.8 per cent versus October 2021. Capacity increased by 34.7 per cent, and load factor rose 13.8 percentage points to 84.8 per cent, the second highest among the regions.
North American carriers reported a 106.8 per cent traffic rise in October versus the 2021 period. Capacity increased by 54.1 per cent, and load factor climbed 21.4 percentage points to 83.8 per cent.
Latin American airlines posted an 85.3 per cent traffic rise compared to the same month in 2021. October capacity climbed 66.6 per cent and the load factor increased 8.7 percentage points to 86.0 per cent, the highest among the regions.
African airlines’ traffic rose 84.5 per cent in October versus a year ago. October 2022 capacity was up 46.9 per cent and the load factor climbed 14.5 percentage points to 71.3 per cent, the lowest among regions.
The bottom line
“People are enjoying the freedom to travel, and businesses recognize the importance of air transport to their success. A recent survey of European business leaders doing business across borders showed that 84 per cent could not imagine doing so without access to air transport networks and 89 per cent believed being close to an airport with global connections gave them a competitive advantage,” Walsh said.
“Governments need to pay attention to the message that air travel is fundamental to how we live and work. That reality should drive policies to enable aviation to operate as efficiently as possible while supporting the industry’s 2050 Net Zero emission goals with meaningful incentives to encourage the production of Sustainable Aviation Fuels,” he further added.