Air Travel Has Rebounded to 74 Percent of Pre-pandemic Levels

November 15th, 2022
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Air Travel Has Rebounded to 74 Percent of Pre-pandemic Levels

Global air travel, after the pandemic and the airline problems arose, bounced back in September with a 57 percent increase in passenger traffic.

Despite the recent pandemic and COVID-19 restrictions, passenger traffic is already reaching pre-pandemic levels.

As the Asia Pacific recorded a lackluster economic performance, the number of visitors has significantly increased. With the recent economic stability, global travelers have decided to visit the region for its culture and traditions.

Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan have recently lifted border restrictions in an effort to revive their shell-shocked travel industries. China, the region’s biggest economy by far, continues with its ultra-strict “dynamic zero COVID” policy for arriving individuals. It mandates 14 days of included quarantine for all travelers.


Middle Eastern airlines recorded the next biggest rise in passenger traffic, up 150 percent, followed by North American and Latin American airlines which saw a traffic rise of 129 percent and 99 percent, respectively.

International airlines’ traffic in Africa increased by 91%, while European airlines saw traffic growth of 78%. Internal traffic rose by only 7 percent, despite the slight increase in overseas travel.

In contrast, global air cargo demand was just slightly below pre-pandemic levels. Demand was buoyed by economic growth and recession fears, but it fell as economic slowdown and fears of another pandemic took their toll.

A publication on The Thomson Reuters Foundation points out that IATA CEO Willie Walsh said, “This is a long-term trend. Over the past decade we have seen global air cargo trade rise faster than overall trade, which has helped to offset protectionist policies implemented by governments in response to the 2008 crash.”

The outlier is still China, with its pursuit of a zero-coverage strategy and its borders largely closed. It creates an awkward market for manufacturing its own products, leaving companies to produce for the domestic market only and risk doing so without knowing how much demand it will create.

Many businesses have noticed different traffic patterns in Google’s search results. In contrast to China, international traffic increased by a quarter of a million-fold in the Asia Pacific region.