Strong Passenger Demand Continues in June

Geneva – The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced passenger data for June 2022 showing that the recovery in air travel remains strong. 

Note: We have returned to year-on-year traffic comparisons, instead of comparisons with the 2019 period, unless otherwise noted. Owing to the low traffic base in 2021, some markets will show very high year-on-year growth rates, even if the size of these markets is still significantly smaller than they were in 2019.
 Total traffic in June 2022 (measured in revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs) was up 76.2% compared to June 2021, primarily propelled by the ongoing strong recovery in international traffic. Globally, traffic is now at 70.8% of pre-crisis levels. 
 Domestic traffic for June 2022 was up 5.2% compared to the year-ago period. Strong improvements in most markets, combined with the easing of some Omicron-related lockdown restrictions in the Chinese domestic market, contributed to the result. Total June 2022 domestic traffic was at 81.4% of the June 2019 level.
 International traffic rose 229.5% versus June 2021. The lifting of travel restrictions in most parts of Asia-Pacific is contributing to the recovery. June 2022 international RPKs reached 65.0% of June 2019 levels.“Demand for air travel remains strong. After two years of lockdowns and border restrictions people are taking advantage of the freedom to travel wherever they can,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General. 
June 2022 (% year-on-year)World share1RPKASKPLF (%-pt)2PLF (level)3Total Market 100.0%76.2%48.5%12.9%82.4%Africa1.9%97.1%62.0%13.2%74.3%Asia Pacific27.5%33.7%18.9%8.1%72.9%Europe25.0%155.1%96.1%19.9%86.0%Latin America6.5%74.0%67.2%3.2%81.7%Middle East6.6%216.8%89.3%31.1%77.2%North America32.6%39.2%26.4%8.2%89.1%1% of industry RPKs in 2021   2year-on-year change in load factor   3Load Factor LevelblankInternational Passenger MarketsAsia-Pacific airlines had a 492.0% rise in June traffic compared to June 2021. Capacity rose 138.9% and the load factor was up 45.8 percentage points to 76.7%. The region is now relatively open to foreign visitors and tourism which is helping foster the recovery.
 European carriers’ June traffic rose 234.4% versus June 2021. Capacity rose 134.5%, and load factor climbed 25.8 percentage points to 86.3%. International traffic within Europe is above pre-pandemic levels in seasonally adjusted terms.
 Middle Eastern airlines’ traffic rose 246.5% in June compared to June 2021. June capacity rose 102.4% versus the year-ago period, and load factor climbed 32.4 percentage points to 78.0%. 
 North American carriers experienced a 168.9% traffic rise in June versus the 2021 period. Capacity rose 95.0%, and load factor climbed 24.1 percentage points to 87.7%, which was the highest among the regions.
 Latin American airlines’ June traffic rose 136.6% compared to the same month in 2021. June capacity rose 107.4% and load factor increased 10.3 percentage points to 83.3%. After leading the regions in load factor for 20 consecutive months, Latin America slipped back to third place in June.
 African airlines had a 103.6% rise in June RPKs versus a year ago. June 2022 capacity was up 61.9% and load factor climbed 15.2 percentage points to 74.2%, the lowest among regions. International traffic between Africa and neighboring regions is close to pre-pandemic levels.Domestic Passenger MarketsJune 2022 (% year-on-year)World share1   
RPKASKPLF (%-pt)2PLF (level)3Domestic62.3%5.2%2.3%2.2%81.1%Australia0.8%78.6%43.5%15.9%80.8%Brazil1.9%37.6%47.3%-5.4%75.4%China P.R.17.8%-45.0%-37.6%-8.9%65.9%India2.2%264.4%179.8%19.0%81.8%Japan1.1%146.4%79.7%15.7%58.2%US25.6%8.7%4.1%3.9%89.8%1% of industry RPKs in 2021   2year-on-year change in load factor 3Load Factor LevelChina’s domestic RPKs fell 45.0% year-on-year in June but this was a substantial improvement compared to May’s year-over-year performance as lockdown measures were eased. 
 Japan’s domestic traffic was up 146.4% in June, compared to June 2021. June 2022 (% ch vs the same month in 2019)World share in1RPKASKPLF (%-pt)2PLF (level)3Total Market 100.0%-29.2%-27.5%-2.0%82.4%International37.7%-35.0%-34.8%-0.3%83.4%Domestic62.3%-18.6%-13.9%-4.6%81.1%
The Bottom Line

“With the Northern Hemisphere summer travel season now fully underway, predictions that the lifting of travel restrictions would unleash a torrent of pent-up travel demand are being borne out. At the same time, meeting that demand has proved challenging and likely will continue to be so. All the more reason to continue to show flexibility to the slot use rules. The European Commission’s intent to return to the longstanding 80-20 requirement is premature. 

“Just look at the issues that airlines and their passengers at some hub airports are being confronted with. These airports are unable to support their declared capacity even with the current 64% slot threshold and have extended recent passenger caps until the end of October. Flexibility is still essential in support of a successful recovery.

“By capping passenger numbers, airports are preventing airlines from benefitting from the strong demand. Heathrow Airport has tried to blame airlines for the disruption. However, Service Level Performance data for the first six months of this year show that they have failed miserably to provide basic services and missed their Passenger Security service target by a massive 14.3 points. Data for June has not yet been published but is expected to show the lowest level of service by the airport since records began,” said Walsh.

View the full June 2022 Air Passenger Market Analysis  (pdf)Notes for Editors:IATA (International Air Transport Association) represents some 290 airlines comprising 83% of global air traffic. You can follow us at twitter.com/iata for announcements, policy positions, and other useful industry information.Statistics compiled by IATA Economics using direct airline reporting complemented by estimates, including the use of FlightRadar24 data provided under license.All figures are provisional and represent total reporting at time of publication plus estimates for missing data. Historic figures are subject to revision.Domestic RPKs accounted for about 62.4% of the total market; the 7 domestic markets in this report accounted for 53.9% of global RPKs in 2021.Explanation of measurement terms:RPK: Revenue Passenger Kilometers measures actual passenger trafficASK: Available Seat Kilometers measures available passenger capacityPLF: Passenger Load Factor is % of ASKs used.IATA statistics cover international and domestic scheduled air traffic for IATA member and non-member airlines.Total passenger traffic market shares for 2021 by region of carriers in terms of RPK are: Asia-Pacific 27.5%, Europe 25.0%, North America 32.6%, Middle East 6.6%, Latin America 6.5%, and Africa 1.9%.Fly Net Zero