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Domestic air travel reaches 85.7% of pre-Covid level in Dec: IATA

India’s domestic air travel has seen massive improvement as it hit 85.7 per cent of pre-COVID levels in the year 2022. Recovery in air travel continued in December 2022, according to a report by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). The IATA said that airlines in India saw a significant improvement in domestic air travel as well as revenue with concerns of new COVID-19 outbreaks waning.

It added that the country’s domestic revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs) rose by 48.8 per cent last year compared to 2021. Air traffic almost matched December 2019’s mark in December last year. Indian domestic available seat kilometres (ASK) rose 30.1 per cent in 2022 compared to a year ago, reports Business Today.

December RPKs for the domestic market were 8.7 per cent under those of December 2019. Globally, domestic and international passenger traffic climbed 64.4 per cent compared with a year ago as full-year global passenger traffic stood at 68.5 per cent of pre-pandemic levels.

The total traffic climbed by 39.7 per cent in December 2022 compared to the same period last year to reach the December 2019 level of 76.9 per cent.

Willie Walsh, DG, IATA was quoted as saying by news agency ANI, “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.”

Walsh further noted the momentum is likely to continue in the new year despite some governments’ adverse reactions to the re-opening of the Chinese aviation sector after a recent coronavirus outbreak.

The IATA also forecast that the airline industry will likely return to profitability in 2023 and post a small net profit of USD 4.7 billion. This will be the first profit for the industry since 2019 when net profits stood at USD 264 billion. Airlines lost around USD 137.7 billion in 2020, USD 42 billion in 2021, and USD 6.9 billion in 2022. (Source: Business Today)

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