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Global air travel at 94.1% of pre-virus level in 2023

31 January 2024 22:50 (UTC+04:00)
Global air travel at 94.1% of pre-virus level in 2023

Global air traffic reached 94.1% of its pre-pandemic level in 2023 thanks to strong demand, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said on Wednesday, Azernews reports, citing Anadolu Agency.

Air traffic – measured in revenue passenger kilometers, or RPKs – soared 36.9% from the prior year in 2023, IATA data showed.

With a 30.4% annual surge, domestic travel in 2023 surpassed its pre-virus levels by 3.9%.

International traffic, on the other hand, was 11.5% below its 2019 levels despite a 41.6% rise from 2022.

"The restoration of connectivity is powering the global economy as people travel to do business, further their educations, take hard-earned vacations and much more," said Willie Walsh, IATA’s director general.

He called on governments to take a strategic approach to maximize the benefits of air travel in the post-pandemic era.

"That means providing cost-efficient infrastructure to meet demand, incentivizing Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) production to meet our net zero carbon emission goal by 2050, and adopting regulations that deliver a clear cost-benefit," he explained.

Global demand for air freight, measured in cargo ton-kilometers, dropped 1.9% compared to 2022 and was 3.6% down than pre-pandemic levels.

Capacity – measured in available cargo ton-kilometers – rose 11% compared to a year earlier.

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