Domestic and international air passenger traffic in August showed continued improvement in year-over-year comparisons, according to the International Air Transport Association. Total traffic recovery compared with 2019 levels, however, was at 73.7 percent, a slight dip from the 74.6 percent reported in July.
Total August traffic, as measured in revenue passenger kilometers, was up 67.7 percent compared with August 2021. Total capacity as measured in available seat kilometers was up 43.6 percent year over year, with the passenger load factor up 11.8 percentage points to 81.8 percent.
“Considering the prevailing economic uncertainties, travel demand is progressing well,” IATA director general Willie Walsh said in a statement. “And the removal or easing of travel restrictions at some key Asian destinations, including Japan, will certainly accelerate the recovery in Asia. The mainland of China is the last major market retaining severe Covid-19 entry restrictions.”
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Those restriction changes in Asia resulted in Asia-Pacific leading regional total traffic improvement with a 141.6 percent increase compared with a year prior. The region’s total capacity also was up the most of all regions, at 76.5 percent. Next was the Middle East, where total traffic was up 135.5 percent and capacity increased 65.4 percent.
Domestic traffic in August was up 26.5 percent year over year, with domestic capacity up 18.9 percent. Passenger load factor increased 4.7 percent points to 79.7 percent. Compared with August 2019 levels, domestic traffic was down 14.6 percent while capacity was down 8.1 percent. Australia reported the greatest year-over-year increases in August traffic and capacity, up 449 percent and 233.7 percent, respectively, though the comparisons are skewed by past travel restrictions.
International traffic increased 115.6 percent year over year, and capacity was up 68.4 percent. Passenger load factor increased 18.2 percent points to 83.2 percent. Compared with August 2019 levels, traffic was down 32.6 percent, and capacity was down 22.8 percent. Again, because of the easing or elimination of travel restrictions, Asia-Pacific saw the largest traffic increase, at 449.2 percent, and capacity gain, at 167 percent, year over year. North American load factor climbed 16.9 percentage points to 87.2 percent, the highest among the regions, according to IATA.
IATA: July Global Traffic Hits Three-Quarters Recovery Mark