Middle East airlines post 215% surge in passenger traffic as Omicron impact eases

Air travel in the Middle East and around the world posted a strong rebound in February 2022, as travellers make their way back to airports amid easing impact of the coronavirus pandemic in most markets, according to the latest data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA). 

Total traffic in the region during the month, measured in revenue passenger kilometres (RPK), surged 215.3 percent compared to the same month in 2021. February capacity also rose 89.5 percent compared to the year-ago period, while load factor jumped 25.8 percentage points to 64.7 percent. 

Overall, global traffic was up 115.9 percent during the same period, a strong improvement compared to January 2022, which recorded a year-on-year increase of 83.1 percent. However, traffic was still down 45.5 percent compared to pre-pandemic levels. 

“The recovery in air travel is gathering steam as governments in many parts of the world lift travel restrictions,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General. 

“We are already seeing reports of unacceptably long lines at some airports owing to the growing number of travellers. And that is even before the surge of Easter holiday travel in many markets next week,” Walsh added. 

Other passenger markets 

In Europe, airlines saw February traffic increase 380.6 percent compared to a year earlier, also an improvement over the 224.3 percent year-on-year increase recorded in January 2022. 

Asia-Pacific airlines experienced a 144.4 percent rise in February traffic, also beating the 125.8 percent year-on-year gain posted in January 2022. 

In North America, carriers enjoyed a 236.7 percent growth in February traffic, a significant improvement compared to the year-on-year 149 percent rise in the previous month. 

Latin American airlines’ air traffic rose 242.7 percent, while carriers in Africa recorded a 69.5 percent rise. 

According to IATA, the “accelerated” growth in passenger numbers in February is helping demand catch up to 2019 levels. While traffic in February 2022 was down more than 45 percent compared to the same month in 2019, it was well ahead of the 49.6 percent year-on-year decline recorded in January 2022. 

Overall, global traffic was up 115.9 percent during the same period, a strong improvement compared to January 2022, which recorded a year-on-year increase of 83.1 percent. However, traffic was still down 45.5 percent compared to pre-pandemic levels. 

“The recovery in air travel is gathering steam as governments in many parts of the world lift travel restrictions,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General. 

“We are already seeing reports of unacceptably long lines at some airports owing to the growing number of travellers. And that is even before the surge of Easter holiday travel in many markets next week,” Walsh added. 

Other passenger markets 

In Europe, airlines saw February traffic increase 380.6 percent compared to a year earlier, also an improvement over the 224.3 percent year-on-year increase recorded in January 2022. 

Asia-Pacific airlines experienced a 144.4 percent rise in February traffic, also beating the 125.8 percent year-on-year gain posted in January 2022. 

In North America, carriers enjoyed a 236.7 percent growth in February traffic, a significant improvement compared to the year-on-year 149 percent rise in the previous month. 

Latin American airlines’ air traffic rose 242.7 percent, while carriers in Africa recorded a 69.5 percent rise. 

According to IATA, the “accelerated” growth in passenger numbers in February is helping demand catch up to 2019 levels. While traffic in February 2022 was down more than 45 percent compared to the same month in 2019, it was well ahead of the 49.6 percent year-on-year decline recorded in January 2022. 

 

Source: https://www.zawya.com/en/business/aviation/middle-east-airlines-post-215-surge-in-passenger-traffic-as-omicron-impact-eases-kjjqmbze

 

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