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ICAO forecasts rapid recovery of air travel in 2023

Geneva, Switzerland | Xinhua | Air passenger demand will rapidly recover to pre-pandemic levels on most routes by the first quarter of 2023 and is expected to exceed 2019 levels by around 3 percent by the end of the year, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) said on Wednesday.

“The air passenger forecasts ICAO is announcing today build on the strong momentum toward recovery in 2022, as previously assessed by ICAO statistical analysis,” the organization’s Secretary General Juan Carlos Salazar said.

According to the ICAO, the number of air passengers carried in 2022 increased by an estimated 47 percent compared to 2021. Total traffic (measured in revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs) increased by around 70 percent over the same period, due mainly to the rapid recovery of most international routes.

In 2022, aircraft orders and deliveries by major manufacturers Airbus and Boeing grew by 53 percent and 20 percent, respectively, compared to the previous year. “The number of orders in 2022 exceeded that seen since 2019, indicating the recovery of aircraft demand.”

Looking further ahead, the ICAO said that airlines are expected to return to operating profitability in the last quarter of 2023 after three consecutive years of losses.

“Air passenger demand in 2024 is expected to be stronger, at around 4 percent higher than 2019,” it said.

The ICAO is a United Nations agency, which helps 193 countries to cooperate and share their skies to mutual benefit.

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