IATA Data Shows Strong Air Traffic Recovery to Prepandemic Levels Written 28 August 2023

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Commercial airliners at Tokyo Narita Airport. | Marek Slusarczyk/Wikipedia; CC BY 3.0

Aviation Week reported that while IATA data released for June “showed a 31% increase in year-on-year air traffic, taking the global total to 94.2% of pre-pandemic levels,” the good news is relative to the three preceding years, which were the worst in the air travel industry’s history, “disguises a bleaker reality.” First, the air traffic recovery “to almost 2019 levels does not show where passenger numbers would have been in 2023 had the pandemic not occurred.” The gap “between air traffic yearly growth predictions made in 2019 and where the industry now stands remains wide.” Back in 2019, the world’s airlines “carried some 4.5 billion passengers – and were profitable as a collective.” IATA forecast then “that there would be a 4% increase in traffic in 2020, taking passenger numbers to over 4.7 billion.” Had that annual increase trendline “continued through 2022, airlines would be expecting to carry well over 5 billion passengers this year versus the 4.35 billion that IATA currently forecasts.”
Full Story (Aviation Week)