European air traffic hit 92% of 2019 level in June, Iata reports

Global air passenger traffic returned to 90% of the 2019 level in June and to just above 92% in Europe, according to latest Iata figures.

Airline association Iata reported international traffic hit 85% of the 2019 level worldwide after increasing 34% year on year “with all markets showing robust growth”.

International airline capacity reached 88% of the June 2019 level, with passenger traffic in the first half of the year up almost 59% on 2022.

Overall air traffic was up 31% year on year in the month and 47% up on 2022 in the first six months of the year.

Domestic traffic rose 27% year on year in June and was 5% above the June 2019 level.

Iata director general Willie Walsh noted: “The northern summer travel season got off to a strong start with double-digit demand growth and average load factors topping 84%. Planes are full.”

However, he argued: “As strong as demand has been, arguably it could be stronger.

“Demand is outrunning capacity growth. Problems in the aviation supply chain mean many airlines have not taken delivery of all the new, more environmentally friendly aircraft they expected, while numerous aircraft are parked awaiting spare parts.”

Walsh added: “Some air navigation service providers [ANSPs] are failing to deliver the capacity and resilience to meet travel demand [leading to] delays and trimmed schedules [which] are frustrating for passengers and airlines.”

He insisted: “Governments can’t continue to ignore the accountability of ANSPs where passenger rights regimes place the brunt of accountability on airlines.”

Carriers based in Europe recorded a 14% increase in traffic versus June 2022, with capacity up slightly less at almost 13%.

North American airlines saw traffic climb 23% year on year in June, while capacity increased by 19.5%, pushing the average load factor above 90%, the highest in any region.

Airlines in the Middle East enjoyed a 29% rise in traffic year on year with a capacity increase three percentage points lower at 26%, giving a load factor close to 80%.

Asia-Pacific airlines saw traffic soar 128% year on year in the month as capacity more than doubled and the average load factor recovered to 83%.

Carriers in Latin America recorded a 26% increase in traffic and 25% rise in capacity, and African airlines’ traffic rose almost 35% year on year, with capacity up 45% but the average load factor down five percentage points at 68%, the lowest regionally.

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