Global air travel rises 57% in September
Despite a strong recovery in travel demand, global air traffic was still below 26.2% of the pre-coronavirus level, the group said in a statement. Air traffic is measured in revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs).
International traffic more than doubled in September compared to a year ago with RPKs reaching 69.9% of the September 2019 level.
"The outlier is still China with its pursuit of a zero-COVID strategy keeping borders largely closed and creating a demand roller coaster ride for its domestic market, with September being down 46.4% on the previous year," said Willie Walsh, IATA's director general.
Domestic air traffic rose at a softer pace, up 6.9% compared to the same month last year. However, it was at 81% of its pre-pandemic level.
Capacity was up 2.4% from last year but still 7.4% below pre-pandemic levels due to contractions across major economies.
"At the macro-level, increasing recession warnings are likely to have a negative impact on the global flows of goods and services, balanced slightly by a stabilization of oil prices," said Walsh.