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October 2023 IATA Air Passenger Market Analysis 
Published December 5. IATA Economic Reports.

Passenger traffic almost at pre-Covid levels


Highlights

  • Industry-wide revenue passenger-kilometers (RPKs) increased 31.2% year-on-year (YoY) in October and closed the gap to pre-Covid levels to within 2%.
  • Available seat-kilometers (ASKs) climbed by 29.4% YoY, recovering to 97.0% of pre-pandemic capacity. As seat capacity stood in line with passenger demand, the global passenger load factor (PLF) remained at 83%.
  • Domestic traffic growth over 2019 levels stabilized at 4.8% with an annual growth rate at 33.7%. International passenger traffic reached 94.4% of pre-pandemic levels with a 29.7% growth YoY.
  • Air ticket sales trended close to 2019 levels, indicating resilient demand for air travel despite the economic challenges faced by consumers.
  • Despite reduced airline operations to and from Israel due to the Israel-Gaza conflict in October 2023, global and regional traffic seemingly remained largely unaffected.

African airlines saw a 25.3% traffic increase YoY

Airlines in Africa achieved 98.0% of October 2019 international RPKs, further approaching complete recovery. The region saw buoyant recovery in international connectivity on intra-regional routes and to its neighboring regions, Europe and the Middle East. The Africa–Europe route area was among the 10 most traffic intense worldwide in 2019 and reached complete monthly recovery for the first time in October.


October saw resilient passenger traffic growth…

In October, the air passenger traffic continued its upward trend with a 31.2% year-on-year, measured in revenue passenger-kilometers (RPKs), edging closer to pre-pandemic figures. Global RPKs are now just 1.8% shy of 2019 levels, and on a seasonally-adjusted basis, they saw a steady 1.2% month-on-month rise. 
    Available seat-kilometers (ASKs), a metric for seat capacity, increased by 29.4% year-on-year, reaching 97.0% of the levels seen before the pandemic. Since May, the industry's passenger load factor (PLF) has aligned closely with pre-pandemic figures, and ending October with 1.2 and 1.0 percentage points higher than the same months in 2022 and 2019, respectively. 
    Notable improvements in seat occupancy are observed in both international and domestic flights, indicating a sustained high interest in air travel. Download the full report...