Passenger Demand Continues Strong In July
IATA is reporting that the post-COVID recovery momentum continued in July,
* Total traffic in July 2023 (measured in revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs) rose 26.2% compared to July 2022. Globally, traffic is now at 95.6% of pre-COVID levels.
* Domestic traffic for July rose 21.5% versus July 2022 and was 8.3% above the July 2019 results. July RPKs are the highest ever recorded, strongly supported by surging demand in the China domestic market.
* International traffic climbed 29.6% compared to the same month a year ago with all markets showing robust growth. International RPKs reached 88.7% of July 2019 levels. The passenger load factor (PLF) for the industry reached 85.7% which is the highest monthly international PLF ever recorded.
Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General, said: “Planes were full during July as people continue to travel in ever greater numbers. Importantly, forward ticket sales indicate that traveler confidence remains high. And there is every reason to be optimistic about the continuing recovery.”
Walsh observed that: “The Northern Hemisphere summer is living up to expectations for very strong traffic demand. While the industry was largely prepared to accommodate a return to pre-pandemic levels of operations, unfortunately, the same cannot be said for our infrastructure providers.”
IATA’s boss pointed out that: “Performance of some of the key air navigations services providers, for example, has been deeply disappointing for many reasons from insufficient staffing to the failure fiasco of NATS in the UK. These must be promptly corrected.”
And he concluded: “Even more worrying, however, are political decisions by some governments—among them Mexico and the Netherlands—to impose capacity cuts at their major hubs that will most certainly destroy jobs and damage local and national economies. The numbers continue to tell us that people want and need air connectivity. That’s why governments should be working with us so that people can travel safely, sustainably and efficiently.”