Business

Travel curbs in China hamper recovery in Asia-Pacific aviation market: IATA

NEW DELHI: Pandemic-induced travel curbs in China, amid Beijing’s zero-covid strategy, continue to hamper recovery in Asia-Pacific’s civil aviation market,the International Air Transport Association has said.

“The Northern Hemisphere peak summer travel season finished on a high note. Considering the prevailing economic uncertainties, travel demand is progressing well. And the removal or easing of travel restrictions at some key Asian destinations, including Japan, will certainly accelerate the recovery in Asia. The mainland of China is the last major market retaining severe COVID-19 entry restrictions,” said Willie Walsh, director general, IATA.

Airlines in Asia-Pacific region saw a massive 449% year-on-year rise in air traffic in August, while flights deployed rose 167% on year, as per IATA’s note on August air traffic.

Globally, air traffic is now at 73.7% of pre-covid levels and has shown continued recovery momentum, IATA said. Total traffic is measured in revenue passenger kilometer, or RPK, which is an industry metric to assess kilometers travelled by paying passengers.

In China, domestic RPKs have seen V-shaped recovery but August air traffic was at 62.2% of the level seen in 2019. IATA had insufficient data to report on the civil aviation recovery in Russia. Within Europe, international traffic currently stands 20.1% below pre-pandemic levels in seasonally adjusted terms.

Overall, forward bookings continue to give a positive outlook and confirm that the willingness to travel is resilient for both domestic and international traffic globally, IATA said.

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