Air passenger demand will rapidly recover to pre-Covid levels on most routes by the first quarter of 2023 and is expected to exceed the 2019 levels by around 3 per cent by the end of the year, the Montreal-based International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) said.
“The air passenger forecasts ICAO is announcing today build on the strong momentum toward recovery in 2022, as previously assessed by ICAO statistical analysis,” Xinhua news agency quoted ICAO Secretary General Juan Carlos Salazar as saying.
According to the Organization, the number of air passengers carried in 2022 increased by an estimated 47 per cent compared to 2021.
Total traffic (measured in revenue passenger kilometres or RPKs) increased by around 70 per cent over the same period, due mainly to the rapid recovery of most international routes.
In 2022, aircraft orders and deliveries by major manufacturers Airbus and Boeing grew by 53 per cent and 20 per cent, respectively, compared to the previous year.
“The number of orders in 2022 exceeded that seen since 2019, indicating the recovery of aircraft demand.”
Looking further ahead, the ICAO said that airlines are expected to return to operating profitability in the last quarter of 2023 after three consecutive years of losses.
“Air passenger demand in 2024 is expected to be stronger, at around 4 percent higher than 2019,” it added.
The ICAO is a specialised UN agency that coordinates the principles and techniques of international air navigation, and fosters the planning and development of international air transport to ensure safe and orderly growth.