Iata recently announced that the strong post-pandemic passenger traffic trend continued in September.
Total traffic in September, measured in revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs), rose 30.1% compared with September 2022. Globally, traffic is now at 97.3% of pre-COVID levels.
Domestic traffic hit a new high for the month of September, as traffic rose 28.3% versus September 2022 and exceeded the September 2019 level by 5%.
International traffic climbed 31.2% compared with the same month a year ago. All markets saw double-digit percentage gains year on year. International RPKs reached 93.1% of September 2019 levels.
“The third quarter of 2023 ended on a high note, with record domestic passenger demand for the month of September and continued strong international traffic,” said Willie Walsh, Iata Director General.
African airlines posted a 28.1% traffic increase in September versus a year ago. Capacity was up 29.9% and load factors slipped a percentage point to 72.6%.
“With the end of 2023 fast approaching, we can look back on a year of strong recovery in demand as passengers took full advantage of their freedom to travel. There is every reason to believe that this momentum can be maintained in the New Year, despite economic and political uncertainties in parts of the world. But we need the whole value chain to be ready.
“Supply chain issues in the aircraft manufacturing sector are unacceptable. They have held back the recovery and solutions must be found. The same holds true for infrastructure providers, particularly air navigation service providers. Equipment failures, staffing shortages and labour unrest made it impossible to deliver the flying experience our customers expect. A successful 2024 needs the whole value chain to be fully prepared to handle the demand that is coming,” said Walsh.