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In brief

  L      2022 


January 2022 IATA Air Passenger Market Analysis 
Published March 10, 2022. IATA Economic Reports.

Strong passenger demand recovery 


Highlights

  • Global air travel was negatively impacted by the Omicron disruptions at the start of 2022 but was nevertheless significantly better than at the beginning of 2021. Industry-wide revenue passenger-kilometers (RPKs) rose by 82.3% year-on-year (YoY) in January 2022, but month-on-month (MoM) RPKs fell by 4.9%.
  • The adverse impact of the Omicron outbreak on air travel was broad-based. Global domestic RPKs fell by 7.2% MoM between December 2021 and January 2022, while global international RPKs ticked down 2.2% over the same period.
  • Improving pandemic developments bode well for the air travel recovery in 2022, though the geopolitical issues in Eastern Europe combined with rising inflationary pressures will negatively impact some markets

Important notice: January figures do not include any impact from the Russia-Ukraine conflict which began at the end of February. The resulting sanctions and airspace closures are expected to have a negative impact on travel, primarily among neighbouring countries. Airspace closures have led to rerouting or cancellations of flights on routes, mostly in Europe-Asia but also in Asia-North America.

African airlines passenger numbers rise amid travel bans
African airlines’ traffic rose 17.9 percent in January 2022 versus a year ago, a slowdown compared to the 26.3 percent year-over-year increase recorded in December 2021. January 2022 capacity was up 6.3 percent and load factor climbed 6.0 percentage points to 60.5 percent.


Omicron outbreak weighed on January results

Global air travel was hit by Omicron disruptions at the start of 2022 but was nevertheless significantly better than at the beginning of 2021. Industry-wide revenue passenger-kilometers (RPKs) grew by 82.3% YoY in January 2022, up slightly from the 79.1% YoY growth seen in December 2021. However, the strength of the January number can be attributed to the base effect stemming from the comparison with low traffic volumes at the start of 2021.
    Tellingly, the month-on-month developments reveal that global RPKs in fact fell by 4.9% between December and January – the weakest outcome since August 2021 (-6.2% MoM) when global air travel was negatively impacted by the Delta variant outbreak...Download the full report.