According to aviation analytics company Cirium, global airline passenger traffic could surpass 2019 levels before the end of this year.
Previous forecasts have suggested that global airline passenger traffic will not recover until 2024. However, according to the latest analysis by Cirium, traffic is showing a faster-than-expected recovery, with growth in terms of RPK (revenue passenger kilometers). If this momentum continues, it is expected that in October, global airline passenger traffic will return to the pre-pandemic levels despite the Asia-Pacific market and China not keeping up with other countries.
According to Rob Morris, global head of consultancy at Cirium, based on schedules in April, Asia intra-regional, trans-Pacific, Asia-Europe and domestic Indonesia are the markets that record 15% lower traffic compared to the same period 2019. Notably, China was the country to record the lowest international airline capacity, an average decrease of 68% compared to pre-Covid levels because it is slower than others in reopening international flight routes (in January 2023).
Earlier this month, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said that global airline traffic had recovered by over 88% compared to March 2019, with total domestic passenger traffic returning to near pre-pandemic levels (98.9%).
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) also forecasts that global air travel demand will fully recover and increase by about 3% compared to 2019 by the end of this year.