Domestic air travel now at 85% of pre-Covid level: IATA

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According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Indian domestic air travel has improved significantly as it touched 85.7 percent of pre-Covid 2019 levels in 2022. IATA announced earlier this month that the recovery in air travel continued into December 2022 and was signed up for the full year ahead of 2021.

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In India, with concerns over the new COVID-19 outbreak, airlines have seen significant improvement in domestic air travel as well as revenue. India’s domestic RPKs (Revenue Passenger Kilometers) grew by 48.8% last year compared to 2021, IATA said. More notably, air traffic in December 2022 almost matched the December 2019 mark, falling just shy of 3.6 percent.

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In 2022, Indian domestic ASK (Available Seat Kilometers) increased by 30.1% from a year ago. For other local markets in Asia Pacific, domestic traffic as measured by RPK increased to 74.1% of 2019 levels from 75.9% in 2021 in Japan.

December RPKs for domestic market were 8.7% as compared to December 2019. Australia experienced a similar recovery, with RPKs recovering to 81.2% of 2019 levels.

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With China still heavily under COVID-19 restrictions in 2022, it’s not surprising that the Middle Kingdom, which accounts for 6.5% of the world’s domestic passenger market, will see 39.8% in RPK and ASK compared to 2021, respectively. % and decreased by 35.2%.

Globally, total passenger traffic (domestic plus international) in 2022 was up 64.4% from a year earlier and full-year global passenger traffic was at 68.5% of pre-pandemic levels.

In December 2022, total traffic increased by 39.7% compared to the same month in 2021, reaching 76.9% of December 2019 levels.

In 2022, international air traffic increased by 152.7% compared to 2021 to reach 62.2% of the 2019 level. International traffic in December 2022 increased by 80.2% compared to December 2021, reaching 75.1% of the level in December 2019.

Singapore’s Changi Airport is a major beneficiary of the recovery in air travel with the country one of the first countries in Asia to reopen its borders to quarantine-free travel in April 2022.

“Over the past two years, we have strengthened our airport offering and continued to engage our airline partners in anticipation of a travel recovery. The efforts of the Changi Airport community have paid off – the airport is now a travel recovery. I am leading the Asia-Pacific region,” said Mr Lim Ching Kyat, Executive Vice President of Air Hub and Cargo Development, Changi Airport Group (CAG). “We look forward to welcoming more flights in the coming months.”

“Despite near-term challenges such as global economic uncertainty and inflationary pressures, we are confident that we will be able to gradually restore Changi Airport’s connectivity and traffic to pre-Covid levels.

“In 2022, Changi Airport welcomed eight new airlines. Among them are seven passenger airlines – Aircalin, Bamboo Airways, Combodia Airways, Citilink, HK Express, Thai Vietjet Air and T’way Air – and one mall. Carrier operator Atlas Air – Four new passenger city links were established last year. These were Jeju (South Korea), Noumea (New Caledonia), Pune (India) and Cebu (Malaysia).

As of the first week of January 2023, 96 airlines operate more than 5,600 weekly scheduled flights into Changi, connecting Singapore to 143 cities in 48 countries and territories around the world. This represents 82% of the airport’s pre-Covid connectivity. Changi handles 32.2 million passenger movements in 2022, almost half the traffic in 2019, the full year before the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Aircraft movements, including landings and takeoffs, totaled 219,000, 57.2% of 2019 levels. In a sign of better things to come, in the first half of last year, it handled 9.89 million passengers while in the second half, when Asian borders began to reopen, that number rose to 22.3 million with an average of 3.72 million passengers per month. . Changi handled an average of 5.69 million passengers per month in 2019. In December 2022, the airport handled 4.62 million passengers and 25,400 aircraft movements, compared to 6.41 million and 33,300 in 2019, respectively, bringing its December recovery to 72 percent.

Changi Airport’s top five passenger markets for the year were, in order, Australia, Malaysia, Indonesia, India and Thailand. As in 2019, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Jakarta were Changi Airport’s three busiest routes in 2022. The Singapore-Kuala Lumpur route is currently the world’s busiest international route based on seat capacity.

With the rapid recovery of international hubs such as Changi, IATA predicts a return to profitability for the global airline industry in 2023 as airlines reduce losses from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their business in 2022. Will continue to do. In 2023, the airlines are expected to post a smaller net profit of $4.7 billion. This would be the first profit since 2019 when the industry had a net profit of $26.4 billion. Airlines will lose $6.9 billion in 2022, $42 billion in 2021 and $137.7 billion in 2020.

“The industry left 2022 in much stronger shape than it entered, as most governments lifted COVID-19 travel restrictions during the year and people took advantage of the restoration of their freedom to travel. This momentum continues into the new year.” is expected to remain, despite some governments’ overreaction to China’s reopening,” said IATA Director General Willie Walsh.

“Let’s hope that 2022 is known as the year that governments finally cast off the shackles of regulation that have kept their citizens in the ground for so long. It is vital that governments do this. Lessons learned Travel restrictions and border closures have little positive impact on reducing the spread of infectious diseases in our globally interconnected world. “There is a huge negative impact, as well, on the global economy that depends on the unfettered movement of people and goods.”

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