IATA: Air Travel Resumed Its Recovery in April, Despite War in Ukraine & Travel Restrictions in China

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has announced that despite the ongoing war in Ukraine and travel restrictions in China, air travel resumed its strong recovery trend in April, which was largely driven by international demand.

According to the most recent press release issued by IATA, total demand for air travel in April 2022 increased by 78.7 per cent compared to April 2021 and shortly before the 76.0 per cent year-on-year increase in March 2022, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

“April domestic air travel was down 1.0 per cent compared to the year-ago period, a reversal from the 10.6 per cent demand rise in March. This was driven entirely by continuing strict travel restrictions in China, where domestic traffic was down 80.8 per cent year-to-year,” the statement explains.

In terms of domestic traffic in April this year, it fell by 25.8 per cent compared to April 2019.

IATA also revealed that international travel demand measured in revenue passenger (RPK) increased by 331.9 per cent compared to April 2021, which means compared to a year ago, there was an acceleration over the growth of 289.9 per cent marked in March 2022

Meanwhile, route areas with above pre-pandemic levels of travel include Central America, the Middle East, North America, and North America – Central America. However, the international RPK of April 2022 fell 43.4 per cent compared to the same month of 2019.

In this regard, IATA Director General Willie Walsh pointed out that with the removal of many border restrictions, the long-expected surge in booking is increasing as people seek to make up for two years of lost travel opportunities.

“April data is cause for optimism in almost all markets, except China, which continues to severely restrict travel. The experience of the rest of the world is demonstrating that increased travel is manageable with high levels of population immunity and the normal systems for disease surveillance,” he also noted.

Data show that European carrier international traffic in April this year increased 480.0 per cent compared to April 2021. However, capacity increased by 233.5 per cent, and the load factor increased by 33.7 percentage points to 79.4 per cent.

Asia-Pacific Airlines also saw an increase in international traffic in April by 290.8 per cent compared to April 2021. On the other hand, capacity increased by 88.6 per cent, and the load factor increased by 34.6 percentage points to 66.8 per cent, which remains the lowest among the regions.

similarly, Middle East Airlines in April saw an increase in demand of 265.0 per cent compared to the same month in 2021. As a result, April capacity increased by 101.0 per cent compared to the period of the previous year, and the load factor by increased 32.2 per cent points to 71.7 per cent.

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