New Delhi- India’s domestic traffic reached 85.7 per cent of the level of 2019, pre-Covid year, in 2022 even as the recovery in air travel continued in December last year, global aviation body IATA said on Monday.

Total traffic in 2022 (measured in revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs) rose 64.4 per cent compared to 2021, International Air Transport Association (IATA) said.

It also said that globally, full year 2022 traffic was at 68.5 per cent of pre-pandemic (2019) levels while December 2022 total traffic rose 39.7 per cent compared to December 2021 and reached 76.9 per cent of the December 2019 level.

The recovery in air travel continued in December 2022 and for the full year. India’s full year domestic traffic rose 48.8 per cent versus 2021, reaching 85.7 per cent of the 2019 level, it stated.

International traffic, globally, in 2022 climbed 152.7 per cent versus 2021 and reached 62.2 per cent of 2019 levels. December 2022 international traffic climbed 80.2 per cent over December 2021, reaching 75.1 per cent of the level in December 2019.

According to IATA, domestic traffic for 2022 rose 10.9 per cent compared to the preceding year. The year 2022 domestic traffic was at 79.6 per cent of the full year 2019 level. December 2022 domestic traffic was up 2.6 per cent over the year ago period and was at 79.9 per cent of December 2019 traffic.

“The industry left 2022 in far stronger shape than it entered, as most governments lifted COVID-19 travel restrictions during the year and people took advantage of the restoration of their freedom to travel. This momentum is expected to continue in the New Year, despite some governments’ over-reactions to China’s re-opening,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.

“Let us hope that 2022 becomes known as the year in which governments locked away forever the regulatory shackles that kept their citizens earthbound for so long. It is vital that governments learn the lesson that travel restrictions and border closures have little positive impact in terms of slowing the spread of infectious diseases in our globally inter-connected world. However, they have an enormous negative impact on people’s lives and livelihoods, as well as on the global economy that depends on the unfettered movement of people and goods,” said Walsh.   (PTI)


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