Strong summer expected as airports continue recovery

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Airports Council International (ACI) World has published its 13th quarterly assessment analysing the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, its effects on airports and the path to recovery.

The latest report by ACI suggests that early 2023 saw signs of improved growth prospects in the largest economies that had positive implications for the aviation sector.

Monthly data revealed that economic activity in the United States surpassed expectations in January, while labour markets remained tight across major G20 economies, including Europe. This supported private consumption and survey indicators show a stabilisation or rebound from the lows of late 2022, with consumer confidence improving in all major aviation markets.

These positive trends are accompanied by a decline in global energy and food prices, which boosts purchasing power. The reopening of China’s economy further contributes to global activity. However, energy and food prices, although decreased from their peak levels, remain higher than pre-pandemic levels, creating budget pressures for households.

In the aviation and tourism industry, these developments are expected to lead to a further recovery of air travel demand and passenger volumes, though they remain below pre-pandemic volumes.

Continent by continent 

The Africa region marked 189 million passengers, which is 82.4% of the 2019 level. In the year 2023, it is estimated to reach 222 million or 96.8% of 2019 level.

The Asia-Pacific region had a slower recovery compared to the global average in the year 2022 with 1.8 billion passengers or 53.8% of the 2019 level. However, in 2023, it is expected that the region will have the strongest recovery among all regions, reaching 2.9 billion passengers, or 85.3% of the 2019 level.

The Europe region had the greatest increase in passenger traffic in 2022, driven by the summer travel demand surge, with 2.0 billion passengers, or 81.1% of the 2019 level. In 2023, recovery will slow down in the region, marking 2.2 billion passengers, or 92.2% of the 2019 level.

In 2022, the Latin America-Caribbean region had the fastest recovery, reaching 637 million passengers, or 92.7% of the 2019 level. In 2023, the region is projected to exceed the 2019 volumes, reaching 701 million passengers or 102.1% compared to the 2019 level.

The Middle East region had its continuous recovery in 2022, with 345 million passengers, or 84.9% of the 2019 level. In 2023, the passenger number is projected to be 396 million, or 97.3% of the 2019 level.

The North America region marked the second fastest recovery with passenger traffic of 1.8 billion or 88.8% of the 2019 level. In the year 2023, the region is expected to reach 2.0 billion passengers, which is 98.7% of the 2019 level.

To read the full report, click here.