The latest Airports Council International (ACI) World insights suggest a promising horizon for the aviation industry. The forecast signals 2024 as a pivotal year for a robust recovery in global passenger traffic. With promising projections and strategic adaptations by the sector, the skies are gearing up for a resurgence of air travel.
A Glimpse of Hope
ACI’s World’s 14th Advisory Bulletin brings an air of optimism. The airport group projects that global passenger volume will significantly recover in 2023. Projections are nearly 8.6 billion passengers, 94.2% of the pre-pandemic levels 2019.
2024: The Year of Revival
The bulletin underscores 2024 as a landmark year. Global passenger traffic is expected to recover and surpass the pre-pandemic levels. The world’s airports are expected to host over 9.4 billion passengers, surpassing the 9.2 billion passengers welcomed in 2019.
Among the regions, Latin America-Caribbean is set to take the lead. It is poised to exceed its 2019 levels as early as 2023. Meanwhile, the Asia-Pacific region, boosted by the Chinese market’s grand reopening, is on track to near its previous peaks. That is despite facing challenges of overseas tourism and economic constraints.
A Closer Look at the Projections
The Advisory Bulletin reveals an encouraging narrowing of the gap between the Business as Usual (BAU) forecast from 2019 and the current recovery trajectories. The lost traffic percentage is tapering, dropping from -23% in Q1 2023 to an anticipated -13% in Q4 2024.
ACI World Director General Optimistic
Luis Felipe de Oliveira, ACI World Director General, exuded optimism. “ACI World projects that global air travel will nearly return to pre-pandemic levels by the end of 2023, with all regions expected to reach this milestone by 2024., de Oliveira said. “Upside factors include the reopening of the Chinese market and surge in domestic travel, supply chain disruptions gradually subsiding, and inflation slowing down. While downside risks remain present, we continue to witness the dedicated efforts and commitment of ACI airport members and partners, and we are filled with optimism about the industry’s future. Aviation is a key driver of growth, jobs, and prosperity, providing employment, social benefits, and economic development to communities worldwide. This sector remains a steadfast force in global economic recovery, bridging connections among people, cultures, and economies.”
Annual World Airport Traffic Report
ACI World’s 2023 Annual World Airport Traffic Report data is compiled from over 2,600 airports across 180 countries and territories.