According to recently reported statistics concerning global air traffic, air passenger traffic around the world has reached 90.5% of the levels last seen in 2019, prior to the Covid pandemic.  

The statistics released this week show that the total amount of air traffic around the globe in April 2023 rose by 45.8% from April 2022. The average load factor for passenger air traffic in April was also at 81.3%, which comes in at only 1.8% below the levels of 2019.  

Traffic from international flights also rose by 48% in April 2023 from April 2022. The statistics also showed that all aviation markets reported ‘healthy’ growth. Air travel carriers in the Asia-Pacific region reported the lead on air traffic recovery as they did previously as well.  

The European air carriers saw a 22.6% rise in April 2023 from April 2022 and the overall capacity increased by 16% across the same period. The load factor for European flight passengers also took on 4.5% and rose to 83.3%. 

These recently released statistics have shown fantastic growth and return to trend for air travel in 2023 in comparison with 2019. With the demand for travel on the rise and air traffic seeing a growth that almost brings us back to pre-pandemic levels, many travel businesses and organisations are looking to the changes to come to continue to rectify the effects of Covid-19.  

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has already made some suggestions and comments on these recent statistics. The association encouraged many governments to avoid making the same “mistake” that Europe made concerning passenger rights regulations.  

The IATA director general, Willie Walsh, said, “We have a focus on EU-style passenger rights regulation that is spreading like a contagion. Proponents of this approach miss a key fact. EU 261 has not led to a reduction in delays. 

“That’s because penalising airlines raises airline costs but does not address delays caused by factors over which airlines have no control, such as inefficient air traffic management or staffing shortages at air navigation service providers. 

“The single best thing that Europe could do to improve the travel experience is deliver the Single European Sky. As for other governments contemplating passenger rights regulations, avoiding a repeat of Europe’s mistake would be a helpful starting point.” 

He went on to highlight “the Dutch government’s high-handed effort to slash capacity at Schiphol airport” which he cited as an example of governments taking on “punitive regulation” over “hassle-free travel”. 

In light of this, Walsh encouraged other governments to make different changes and expressed optimism following the statistics released.  “April continued the strong traffic trend we saw in the 2023 first quarter,” he said. 

“The easing of inflation and rising consumer confidence in most OECD countries combined with declining jet fuel prices, suggests sustained strong air travel demand and moderating cost pressures.”  

So, if you’d like to learn more about how your consumers’ monies are protected with Protected Trust Services (PTS) and how we support excellent travel businesses, check out our pages. Or you can get in touch with the lovely PTS team by calling 0207 190 9988 or emailing us at 

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