According to data released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) on February 6, global air passenger traffic in 2022 will surge by 64.4% compared with 2021, returning to 68.5% of the level before the new crown epidemic in 2019.

IATA Director General Willie Walsh said this was helped by governments easing travel restrictions.

  Affected by the epidemic, global airlines will suffer serious losses in 2020 and 2021.

In 2022, as countries gradually adjust their epidemic prevention policies, the situation will improve.

The data shows that in terms of revenue passenger kilometers (RPK), international air passenger traffic in 2022 will increase by 152.7% year-on-year in 2021, reaching 62.2% of the 2019 level; 79.6%.

  In terms of regions, the Asia-Pacific region will see the strongest growth in international passenger traffic in 2022, with a year-on-year increase of 363.3%.

The Middle East and Europe followed closely, with increases of 157.4% and 132.2% respectively.

IATA said that as countries in the Asia-Pacific region adjust their epidemic prevention policies, passenger flights both between Asia-Pacific countries and between them and the rest of the world have shown a good recovery.

In addition, China's optimization and adjustment of epidemic prevention measures has given a strong positive signal to the aviation industry in the Asia-Pacific region.

  According to the data, the top three domestic flight passenger traffic growth are Australia, Japan and India, with year-on-year growth of 111.7%, 75.9% and 48.8% respectively.

From a global perspective, compared with the uncertainty of international travel, the recovery of domestic flights is earlier than that of international flights.

Among the world's major economies, domestic flight passenger traffic in the United States and Brazil has recovered to more than 90% of 2019, and India and Australia have also recovered to 85.7% and 81.2% respectively.

IATA also mentioned that the latest data show that domestic air ticket sales increased in January this year, which was mainly due to the adjustment of China's epidemic prevention policy.

At the same time, the degree of recovery of international passenger traffic is gradually catching up with domestic passenger traffic.

  Compared with the rapid recovery of passenger transport, freight transport has not performed well due to the impact of the international economic situation.

Global air cargo traffic, measured in cargo tonne kilometers (CTK), fell 15.3% year-on-year in December and 8% for the year, 1.6% lower than in 2019.

Global new export orders, a leading indicator of demand for goods, have stagnated since October, with contraction in most major economies, IATA said.

Walsh said that if central banks continue to use measures such as raising interest rates to fight inflation this year, it is expected that freight volumes in 2023 will continue to decline to a level that is 5.6% lower than in 2019.

However, Walsh said total air cargo revenue in 2023 should be higher than before the pandemic, giving the industry a respite from the complex international trade situation.

  According to IATA's previous forecast, last year's aviation industry is expected to lose $6.9 billion, while this year's aviation industry is expected to earn $779 billion and achieve a net profit of $4.7 billion.

If the forecast comes true, it would be the airline industry's first profit since 2019.

But at the same time, the aviation industry still faces multiple risks in 2023, including unstable energy prices, slowing global economic growth, and geopolitical conflicts. Airlines still need to establish a solid financial foundation and flexibly adjust their business models to cope with possible future risks. The shock that appears.

  Bian Zihao

  Bian Zihao