IATA’s figures reveal a swift recovery in India’s aviation industry.
India made significant strides in air travel last year as the COVID threat receded and passenger confidence came back. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) recently revealed that domestic air travel in India crossed 85% of the pre-pandemic level as the aviation industry recovered globally.
According to IATA, India’s air travel reached 85.7% of 2019 levels in 2022. The country’s RPKs (revenue passenger kilometers) increased 48.8% compared to 2021, while domestic ASK (Available Seat Kilometers) increased 30.1% from the previous year.
India’s aviation regulator, the DGCA, had previously revealed that 123.2 million passengers traveled by air in India in 2022. This was 47% more than the passenger numbers in 2021. In fact, two airlines – IndiGo and Vistara – surpassed 2019 levels. IndiGo carried almost 68 million passengers, a million more than it did in 2019, while Vistara flew 11.35 million passengers last year, significantly more than 7.44 million in 2019.
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December was a particularly busy month, with the country’s airlines reporting the highest post-COVID capacity just two days before the start of the new year. The effect can also be seen at several airports in India, with Mumbai’s passenger footfall crossing pre-pandemic level in January.
At the start of this year, Goa International Airport also recorded its highest-ever flight traffic on a single day on January 1st, with 104 flights. The airport is handled by the Airports Authority of India and saw 13,147 arriving and 17,335 departing passengers that day.
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Recovery in Asia-Pacific
Other markets in the Asia-Pacific region are also recovering, with the RPK for Japan recovering by 75.9% compared to 2021 and 74.1% compared to pre-pandemic levels. Australia’s RPKs also recovered by 81.2% of the 2019 levels.
Singapore Changi also saw an impressive traffic rebound and operations from seven new passenger airlines. In the first week of January, 96 airlines were operating 5,600 weekly flights out of the airport. Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General, commented,
“The industry left 2022 in far stronger shape than it entered, as most governments lifted COVID-19 travel restrictions during the year and people took advantage of the restoration of their freedom to travel. This momentum is expected to continue in the New Year, despite some governments’ over-reactions to China’s re-opening.”
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IATA’s analysis of air traffic throughout 2022 also revealed that international traffic globally reached 152.7% of the 2021 levels in 2022, while domestic traffic increased by 10.9% from 2021.
Once again, December proved to be a good month globally, with total traffic climbing 39.7% compared to the same period in 2021. Of this, international traffic rose by 80.2% over December 2021, while domestic traffic was 2.6% higher than in the corresponding period in 2021.
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