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  L      2022

In brief

  L      2022 

May 2022 IATA Air Passenger Market Analysis 
Published July 7. IATA Economic Reports.

International markets rebound


  • International revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs) continued to drive the global industry’s recovery in May while the global domestic market trended sideways.
  • Several major international route areas overperformed 2019 levels while many others likely reached pre-pandemic RPK levels in June.
  • Asia Pacific airlines registered substantial international growth four months in a row, reaching a year-on-year (YoY) recovery rate of 453.3% in May, a great increase from 103.5% in January 2022. This positive trend is expected to continue as the region reopens gradually.
  • The global industry’s recovery accelerated and global international RPKs are now at 64.1% of pre-crisis levels. Global domestic RPKs reached 76.1% of the 2019 level in May. Compared to April 2022, global RPKs grew 10.7% monthon-month (MoM).
  • The rebound continues despite inflation, high jet fuel prices and low consumer confidence. International bookings briefly exceeded domestic bookings in May, confirming that a high willingness to travel abroad persists.

Africa's passenger numbers up 134.9% YoY
In Africa, the international recovery remains slower than in other regions. Airlines based in Africa saw a 134.9% YoY growth rate in their international RPKs in May. International RPKs for these airlines are down 33.2% compared to pre-pandemic levels. While traffic between Europe and the Middle East is rebounding fast, traffic between Africa and Europe is down 0.7% compared to 2019 and that between Africa and the Middle East up by a modest 1.2% YoY.

Strong global recovery continues in May

Despite the ongoing war in Ukraine and lingering zero-Covid policies in China PR, the global airline industry pushes for recovery. In May 2022, industry-wide revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs) grew by 83.1% YoY. Air passenger volumes are now 31.3% below pre-pandemic 2019 levels, which represents a 6% increase from April. Seasonally adjusted data suggest an accelerating industry-wide recovery with a 10.7% MoM increase.

Domestic air traffic volumes still on a sideways trend, steep decline halted in Asia Pacific

Industry-wide domestic RPKs grew 9.3% MoM, with positive results reported in all regions. The steep decline seen in Asia Pacific was halted in May with a 18.7% MoM increase. In China PR, domestic RPKs grew 42.2% MoM. Traffic levels in the country are still down compared to prepandemic levels at -71.5% though now recovering from the repeated shocks of restrictive travel policies...Download the full report.