Air travel recovery continues, reaching 99% of 2019 levels  

In its latest data for November 2023, IATA reports that air travel demand topped 99 per cent of 2019 levels.

IATA reports that the total traffic in November 2023 (measured in revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs) rose 29.7 per cent compared to November 2022. Globally, traffic is now at 99.1 per cent of November 2019 levels.

International & domestic traffic

International traffic rose 26.4 per cent versus November 2022. The Asia-Pacific region continued to report the strongest year-over-year results (+63.8 per cent) with all regions showing improvement compared to the prior year.

November 2023 international RPKs reached 94.5 per cent of November 2019 levels.

Meanwhile, domestic traffic for November 2023 was up 34.8 per cent compared to November 2022. Total November 2023 domestic traffic was 6.7 per cent above the November 2019 level.

Growth was particularly strong in China (+272 per cent) as it recovered from the COVID-19 travel restrictions that were still in place a year ago. U.S. domestic travel, benefitting from strong Thanksgiving holidays demand, reached a new high, expanding +9.1% over November 2019.

“We are moving ever closer to surpassing the 2019 peak year for air travel. Economic headwinds are not deterring people from taking to the skies,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s director general. “International travel remains 5.5% below pre-pandemic levels but that gap is rapidly closing. And domestic markets have been above their pre-pandemic levels continuously since April.”

Here in North America, carriers saw a 14.3 per cent traffic rise in November compared to the same period in 2022. Capacity increased 16.3 per cent, and load factor fell 1.4 percentage points to 80 per cent.

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