The newest ICAO analysis of global air traffic shows obvious indicators of a robust worldwide rebound in air traffic, with increased carrier confidence and a variety of regional air connectivity and air travel facilitation enhancements.
From January to April 2022, the number of air passengers transported climbed by 65% compared to the same period in 2021, while aircraft flight departures increased by 30%.
Airline seat capacity increased by 32% during the same period, and with continued supporting conditions for increased air travel demand forecast, the ICAO predicts a faster overall pace of recovery this year than last.
In regional highlights, domestic seat capacity in North America and Latin America/Caribbean has now recovered to pre-pandemic levels, as has capacity in other key domestic markets such as India, Australia, Brazil, and Mexico. Meanwhile, intra-European seat capacity is increasing rapidly.
Total seat capacity within and between North America, Europe, the Middle East, South-West Asia, and the Latin America/Caribbean area are predicted to recover to, or near to, pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2022.
The speed of rebound in Asia and Pacific and Africa continues to be more difficult, with full seat capacity predicted to be restored in Asia and Pacific by 2023-24 and in Africa by 2024-25.
“These recovery indicators are highly encouraging”, stressed ICAO Secretary General Juan Carlos Salazar, “and most especially concerning the re-opened travel and tourism markets and other positive economic and sustainability benefits which inevitably result from expanded international seat capacity and air connectivity.”
“There is still much to be done, however, and I look forward to the point where we can announce the full recoveries of all world regions.”
The 41st ICAO Assembly, which will be attended in person by civil aviation delegates from the UN agency’s 193 Member States, is anticipated to give a boost to ICAO’s continued efforts to cooperate with governments and businesses to interconnect the world.