Global airline traffic last year rebounds to over half of pre-pandemic levels

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Global hose postulation past twelvemonth rebounds to complete half of pre-pandemic levels © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: An airplane prepares to onshore astatine Cointrin airdrome successful Geneva, Switzerland December 5, 2017. REUTERS/Pierre Albouy/File Photo

By Joanna Plucinska

LONDON (Reuters) -Global hose postulation recovered to 68.5% of pre-pandemic levels past twelvemonth and surged 64.4% from 2021, according to figures published by world aviation assemblage IATA connected Monday.

Airlines mislaid tens of billions of dollars successful 2020 and 2021 owed to nan COVID-19 pandemic and saw nan first signs of alleviation arsenic recreation started to return successful 2022, peculiarly during nan summertime months.

With China's caller reopening, that betterment is group to spell on, nan caput of IATA said.

"This momentum is expected to proceed successful nan caller year, contempt immoderate governments' overreactions to China's reopening," said Willie Walsh, IATA's director-general.

China antecedently said it would resume overseas group tours organized by circuit agencies and online recreation companies for Chinese citizens starting from Monday.

European carriers saw full-year postulation jump 132.2% compared to 2021, while North American airlines saw a 130.2% emergence year-on-year, according to nan data.

But analysts and executives person agelong said that betterment to afloat pre-pandemic levels depends connected really quickly recreation to and from China tin bounce back.

"It is captious that governments study nan instruction that recreation restrictions and separator closures person small affirmative effect successful position of slowing nan dispersed of infectious diseases successful our globally inter-connected world," Walsh added.

Many countries, for illustration France, introduced mandatory COVID testing for those flying from China, sparking protests from nan aviation sector.


Current schedules show location could still beryllium substantially less flights betwixt Asia and Europe successful 2023 compared to 2019, information from Cirium showed, but much routes are being announced.

Some hose groups person said they would reopen immoderate routes to China successful nan coming months, but pinch flights being little predominant than anterior to nan pandemic.

Air France-KLM (PA:) said earlier this period it would commencement moving regular flights to Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing starting successful July while British Airways (L:) said it would commencement flights betwixt London and Shanghai from April 23.

Growth successful flights from different regions mightiness person to prime up much to compensate for a lag successful Chinese flights successful bid for afloat world postulation betterment to 2019 levels, immoderate analysts person said.

"I don't deliberation that China's betterment will astir apt get backmost to 2019 levels until adjacent aliases nan pursuing twelvemonth to Europe," James Halstead, managing partner astatine consultancy Aviation Strategy said.

"For short-haul flights, you'll astir apt spot amended recovery, but it's still going to beryllium tentative and it'll dangle connected separator controls wrong Asia."