According to a recent report from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Middle Eastern Airlines reported a 30.8% rise in traffic in May compared to the same month a year prior. The region is also spearheading the aviation rebound with traffic during the month being 17.2% higher than 2019 levels.
The load factor increased by 3.6 percentage points to 80.2% while capacity increased by 25.0%.
The month of May 2023 saw a 45.2% increase in traffic for African airlines compared to May 2022. The load factor increased 0.5 percentage points to 68.8% in May, which was the lowest among the areas, while the capacity increased by 44.2%.
In terms of revenue passenger kilometres, or RPKs, traffic in May increased globally by 39.1% from May 2022. According to the IATA report, traffic is now at 96.1% of May 2019 (pre-pandemic) levels.
Domestic traffic increased by 36.4% in May compared to the same period last year. Total domestic traffic in May 2023 was 5.3% above the May 2019 level. This is the second consecutive month that domestic traffic has exceeded pre-pandemic levels.
International traffic increased by 40.9% compared to May 2022, with all markets reporting strong growth, again led by Asia-Pacific airlines. International RPKs hit 90.8% of May 2019 levels, with Middle East and North American carriers surpassing pre-pandemic levels.
Overall industry utilization rose to 81.8%, led by North American carriers at 86.3%.
“We saw more good news in May. Planes were full, with the average load factors reaching 81.8%. Domestic markets reported growth on pre-pandemic levels. And, heading into the busy Northern summer travel season, international demand reached 90.8% of pre-pandemic levels,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General, Zawya reported.
Meanwhile, Asia-Pacific airlines recorded a 156.7% increase in traffic in May 2023 compared to May 2022, continuing the very positive momentum since the region’s remaining travel restrictions were lifted earlier this year. Capacity increased by 136.1% and load factor increased by 6.4 percentage points to 80.0%.