Air travel rebounds but still suffering from pandemic

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Oct 07 2022 02:49 AM

ABS-CBN News/file
Relatives check on their loved ones at the NAIA Terminal 1 departure area in Pasay City on June 20, 2022. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News/file

Air travel rose sharply in the northern hemisphere summer, traditionally the peak vacation travel season, but still remains considerably affected by the pandemic, industry data showed Thursday.

Total air traffic in August soared up by two thirds from the same time last year, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said, but was still only at 73.7 percent of its pre-Covid level.

With pandemic travel restrictions having been removed in North America and Europe, and in parts of Asia, there was pent-up demand to travel.

Asia experienced the biggest rebound, where traffic more than tripled.

"While the region experienced the strongest year-over-year growth, remaining travel restrictions in China continue to hamper the overall recovery for the region," said IATA, a trade association that brings together most of the world's major airline groups.

IATA Director General Willie Walsh said in the association's regular monthly update that the season "finished on a high note".

"Considering the prevailing economic uncertainties, travel demand is progressing well," added the former head of IAG, the parent company of British Airways.

While referencing concerns of a global recession and soaring inflation, IATA did not mention staff shortages and strikes that have hobbled airlines and airports. 

Several European airports have limited the number of flights airlines may operate due to a lack of ground staff. 

In June, IATA forecast passenger traffic would hit its pre-pandemic level in 2024, after having plunged by 60 percent in 2020 as countries closed borders to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The association expects the airline industry to return to profit next year.

FROM THE ARCHIVES

Watch more News on iWantTFC