Significant boost in global air transport demand at the start of 2024

Significant boost in global air transport demand at the start of 2024

While international traffic experienced a vigorous rise of 20.8% compared to January 2023, the domestic segment recorded a more moderate, but also robust, increase of 10.4%

The air transport sector has kicked off 2024 with a remarkable expansion in global demand, showing 16.6% growth in January compared to the same period last year, according to the latest data released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA). This increase bodes well for the industry, marking a "good start to the year" against a backdrop of economic and geopolitical uncertainties.

Air traffic dynamics show significant differences between international and domestic flights. While international traffic experienced a vigorous rise of 20.8% compared to January 2023, the domestic segment recorded a more moderate, but also robust, increase of 10.4%.

The analysis by region highlights the extraordinary growth in Asia Pacific, where demand soared by 45.4%. This was largely attributable to the positive impact of the reopening of China, which in the same month of the previous year began to ease restrictions imposed by the covid-19 pandemic. Other markets also showed significant growth, with increases of 18.5% in Africa, 17.9% in Latin America, 16.2% in the Middle East, and 10.8% in Europe, underlining the general recovery in the airline industry.

IATA placed particular emphasis on the performance of China, which in addition to leading growth in Asia, saw a 33.2% increase in its domestic market, driven by high demand for travel during the Lunar New Year. Notable contrasts were seen in other major domestic markets such as Australia, India and the United States, with increases of 5.3%, 3.9% and 3.1% respectively.

IATA Director General Willie Walsh reflected optimism in interpreting these results, highlighting the importance of aviation as an engine of economic growth in a year marked by significant global elections. "The year 2024 is off to a good start despite economic and geopolitical uncertainties. As governments look to prosper their economies in the busiest election year in history, it is critical that they see aviation as a catalyst for growth," concluded Walsh. This initial momentum bodes well for a promising year for the airline industry, provided stability is maintained and government support for the sector is encouraged.

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