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Global Air Travel Rebound in November 2023

Overall Growth and Global Trends

In November 2023, total air travel demand, measured in revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs), surged by an impressive 29.7% compared to November 2022. The global traffic has now reached 99.1% of November 2019 levels, indicating a strong recovery trend.

International Travel Performance: Air Travel

International traffic witnessed a substantial rise of 26.4% in November 2023 compared to the same period in 2022. Notably, the Asia-Pacific region reported the highest year-over-year growth, reaching an outstanding 63.8%. All global regions exhibited positive growth, contributing to international RPKs reaching 94.5% of November 2019 levels.

Domestic Aviation Surpasses Pre-Pandemic Levels

November 2023 saw a robust rebound in domestic air travel, posting a significant 34.8% increase compared to November 2022. Domestic traffic has not only recovered but surpassed pre-pandemic levels, exceeding November 2019 figures by 6.7%. Key contributors to this growth include China, experiencing a remarkable 272% increase, and the United States, achieving a new high with a 9.1% expansion over November 2019.

Insights from Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director-General

Willie Walsh, IATA’s director-general, expressed optimism about the industry’s recovery, stating, “We are moving ever closer to surpassing the 2019 peak year for air travel. Economic headwinds are not deterring people from taking to the skies. International travel remains 5.5% below pre-pandemic levels, but that gap is rapidly closing. And domestic markets have been above their pre-pandemic levels continuously since April.”

Regional Performance Highlights

  • Asia-Pacific: Leading the recovery, airlines in this region reported a remarkable 63.8% rise in November traffic, with robust capacity and load factor figures.
  • Europe: European carriers saw a positive growth of 14.8% in November traffic, maintaining a steady capacity and load factor.
  • Middle East: Airlines in the Middle East experienced an 18.6% rise in November traffic, with notable capacity growth and a slightly decreased load factor.
  • North America: Carriers in North America witnessed a 14.3% increase in November traffic, driven by strong demand during the Thanksgiving holidays.
  • Latin America: November traffic for Latin American airlines rose by 20.0%, achieving the highest load factor among all regions.
  • Africa: African airlines reported a 22.1% rise in November RPKs, with significant capacity growth despite a lower load factor.

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