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Passenger Traffic Rose by 31.2% In October, IATA Stats to Know

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has recently reported a positive trend in passenger demand for October.

IATA reports positive trend in passenger demand continued in October.
  • Total traffic, measured in revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs), increased by 31.2% compared to the same month in the previous year. This puts global traffic at 98.2% of pre-COVID levels.
  • Domestic travel had a significant rise of 33.7% compared to October 2022. This growth was largely driven by the remarkable triple-digit percentage increase in China, surpassing the results from October 2019 by 4.8%.
  • International travel saw a notable climb of 29.7% year on year. All markets experienced double-digit percentage gains during this period. International RPKs have now reached 94.4% of the levels seen in October 2019.

“October’s strong result brings the industry ever closer to completing the post-pandemic traffic recovery. Domestic markets remain above pre-COVID levels. International demand is recovering, but more slowly. In particular, Asia Pacific carriers’ international demand is 19.5% behind 2019. This could reflect the late lifting of COVID restrictions in parts of the region as well as commercial developments and political tensions, ” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.

IATA Air Passenger Markets Detail – October 2023


World Share[1]RPKASKPLF (%-pt)[2]PLF (level)[3]
Total Market100.0%31.2%29.4%1.2%83.1%
Asia Pacific22.1%90.9%77.9%5.6%82.1%
Latin America6.4%13.6%12.0%1.3%84.8%
Middle East9.8%23.9%21.4%1.6%80.6%
North America28.8%10.5%13.7%-2.4%83.6%
[1]% of industry RPKs in 2022    [2]Change in load factor    [3]Load factor level. Source: IATA

International Passenger Markets

  • Asia-Pacific airlines experienced an impressive 80.3% increase in traffic in October 2023 compared to October 2022.
  • European carriers saw a notable rise of 16.1% in traffic in October 2023 compared to the same period in 2022.
  • Middle Eastern airlines recorded a solid 24.1% increase in traffic in October 2023 compared to the previous year.
  • North American carriers witnessed a significant traffic rise of 17.5% in October 2023 compared to the same period in 2022.
  • Latin American airlines observed a 21.2% increase in traffic compared to October 2022, with the region’s highest load factor.
  • African airlines experienced a substantial 25.3% traffic increase in October 2023, though the load factor declined to the lowest among the regions.
Source: IATA
Air passenger market in detail. October 2023. IATA
Source: IATA

People Value the Freedom to Fly

“People assign a high value to the freedom to travel,” said Walsh.  “The strong demand we’ve seen all year confirms that. And aviation is committed to ensuring that people can continue to enjoy this freedom. To do that in the long term, we must also meet our commitment to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Last month, the Third Conference on Aviation Alternative Fuels (CAAF/3) agreed on a global framework to promote Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) production with the aim that aviation fuel in 2030 is 5% less carbon intensive than fossil fuel used today. Now, governments need to support that target by immediately putting in place policies to stimulate SAF production. It bears repeating: last year, every drop of SAF that was produced was purchased. The same thing will occur this year. But, with a few notable exceptions, governments are not living up to their obligations to ensure SAF is plentiful and affordable to support the industry’s energy transition.”

IATA Passenger Market Analysis

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