Air passenger traffic exceeds pre-pandemic levels


In the first quarter of 2024, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) projected that passenger air traffic levels will be around 2 percent higher than in 2019, with airlines expected to maintain their expected operating profitability at 2023.

Demand this year is forecast to be about 3 percent above 2019 levels and could reach 4 percent if the pace of recovery strengthens on routes that have not yet reached pre-pandemic levels. This translates to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 0.5 percent over the period 2019-2024.

“The commitment of ICAO Member States to align their responses to the pandemic with the guidance developed by the ICAO Council has been crucial to the recovery of their air services.”

commented Salvatore Sciacchitano, President of the ICAO Council.

“Implementation of ICAO post-pandemic guidance is now equally crucial to ensure the resilience and sustainability of this recovery.”

Global freight tonne-kilometer (FTK) demand for 2024 is projected to be approximately 2 percent lower than 2019 levels due to projected reductions in demand arising from global economic weakness.

ICAO Secretary General Juan Carlos Salazar highlighted governments’ aspirational goals for decarbonizing air transport by 2050, emphasizing initiatives to accelerate the development and deployment of technologies, operational improvements and cleaner aviation fuels. Despite the risks, including those related to international air transport, of the ICAO Analysis for 2023 indicates an almost complete recovery of air passenger traffic, reaching around 95 percent of pre-pandemic levels globally. The main regional routes that will exceed 2019 levels by 2023 include intra-European routes and between Europe, North America, the Middle East and Africa. However, most international Asian routes, except those serving Southwest Asia, still experienced lower traffic levels compared to pre-pandemic times. Freight traffic in 2023 remained 3 percent below 2019 levels, reflecting global economic conditions. Despite challenges such as high fuel prices, airlines achieved total operating profits of $39 billion in 2023, similar levels to 2019, attributed to increased passenger throughput and productivity gains, with airlines North American and European companies leading the way in profitability.

ICAO produces a Monthly Monitoring which provides aviation stakeholders with access to comprehensive snapshots and in-depth analysis of economic and aviation indicators, providing them with practical insights to navigate the complexities of the aviation landscape. Through monthly updates and customizable features, Monthly Monitor allows stakeholders to stay up-to-date on data that facilitates informed decision-making and strategic planning.

News source: Emirates News Agency


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