By Tuba Sahin
ANKARA (AA) – Global air traffic in 2022 reached 68.5% of its pre-pandemic level, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
Air traffic – measured in revenue passenger kilometers, or RPKs – surged 64.4% from a year earlier in 2022, IATA data showed.
"The industry left 2022 in far stronger shape than it entered, as most governments lifted COVID-19 travel restrictions during the year and people took advantage of the restoration of their freedom to travel," Willie Walsh, IATA’s director general, said in a statement on Monday.
"This momentum is expected to continue in the New Year, despite some governments’ over-reactions to China’s re-opening," Walsh added.
International traffic jumped 152.7% from 2021, with RPKs reaching 62.2% of the 2019 level, according to IATA.
According to the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), international tourism made 63% of its pre-virus level in 2022 despite doubling from a year ago.
A total of 917 million tourists traveled internationally last year, up 101.6% from the previous year, the report UNWTO released last month showed.
Domestic air traffic increased 10.9% year-on-year to 79.6% of the pre-pandemic level.
Separate IATA data on Monday showed that demand for air cargo – measured in cargo ton-kilometers – decreased 8% on an annual basis in 2022. Compared to 2019, it was down 1.6%, both globally and internationally.