Air traffic just behind 2019

Air traffic just behind 2019

May 2023 traffic data shows continued strong growth in air travel demand with figures nudging 2019 levels, says the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Total traffic in May 2023 (measured in revenue passenger kilometres or RPKs) rose 39.1% compared to May 2022. Globally, traffic is now at 96.1% of May 2019 (pre-pandemic) levels.

Domestic traffic for May rose 36.4% compared to the year-ago period. Total May 2023 domestic traffic was 5.3% above the May 2019 level. This is the second month in a row domestic traffic has exceeded pre-pandemic levels.

International traffic climbed 40.9% versus May 2022 with all markets recording strong growth, led once again by carriers in the Asia-Pacific region. International RPKs reached 90.8% of May 2019 levels, with Middle East and North American airlines exceeding pre-pandemic levels.

‘We saw more good news in May. Planes were full, with the average load factors reaching 81.8%. Domestic markets reported growth on pre-pandemic levels,’ says Willie Walsh, IATA’s director general.

‘Heading into the busy Northern summer travel season, international demand reached 90.8% of pre-pandemic levels.’

Asia-Pacific airlines had a 156.7% increase in May 2023 traffic compared to May 2022, maintaining the positive momentum since the lifting of the remaining travel restrictions in the region earlier this year. Capacity rose 136.1% and the load factor increased 6.4 percentage points to 80.0%.

Related items