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Airlines to benefit from increase in travel demand: IATA

Global airlines continued to benefit from increasing air travel demand in November, with all regions recording growth, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
Total passenger traffic worldwide increased 41.3 per cent annually in November, reaching 75.3 per cent of pre-pandemic levels, IATA said in its monthly report.

International passenger traffic nearly doubled from the previous November, rising 85.2 per cent and also reaching 73.7 per cent of November 2019 levels.

Demand for domestic travel in November also increased 3.4 per cent year-on-year, when travel restrictions in China continued to weigh on the segment. Total domestic traffic was at 77.7 per cent of November 2019 levels.

“Traffic results in November reinforce that consumers are thoroughly enjoying the freedom to travel,” said Willie Walsh, Director General, IATA.

Commenting on the reopening of China’s borders for international travel in January, he said many governments were “still playing science politics”, as countries impose testing requirements on Chinese travellers.

“Governments should focus on using available tools to manage Covid-19 effectively — including improved therapeutics and vaccinations — rather than repeating policies that have failed time and again over the last three years,” he said.

All regions recorded a modest increase in seat capacity, lifting industry-wide seat capacity slightly in November compared with October, IATA said.

Recovery trends for international traffic in the premium and economy-cabin classes “remain broadly aligned”, IATA said.

Demand for economy-class seats — including premium economy — reached 79.6 per cent of its January 2020 level in July last year.

Premium-class demand — referring to first and business-class cabins — fared nearly as well, recording 74.2 per cent of the January 2020 level.

Middle Eastern airlines recorded an 84.6 per cent year-on-year growth in November, virtually unchanged from October. Seat capacity in November increased 45.4 per cent year-on-year. Load factor, a measure of how well airlines fill available seats, climbed 16.5 percentage points to 77.7 per cent.


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