Air traffic

Domestic air traffic picks up in APAC and the Middle East

Road bumps on the track

• Factors detrimental to aviation take-off

• Travel restrictions, from mandatory quarantines to pre-departure and arrival testing

• Suspension of international air travel in parts of the region

• Geopolitical conflict

• Subsequent impacts on macroeconomic factors

• Restrictions on international air travel to and from global player China

Compared to the first quarter of 2019, domestic traffic recovered 92% of pre-pandemic levels, but international seat capacity was still down 67% in the first quarter of this year and 49% in 2022 compared to 2019 levels.

Mumbai: According to the Airports Council International Asia-Pacific (ACI APAC) quarterly report, the aviation industry in Asia-Pacific and the Middle East is seeing green spurts of recovery as domestic passenger traffic surges, even if international traffic remains largely stagnant.

The industry showed encouraging signs of recovery in the first quarter of 2022 – capacity was being rebuilt in many parts of APAC and the Middle East; domestic passenger traffic has increased considerably; Cargo growth proved resilient and exceeded pre-pandemic levels, according to the report. The report was prepared in partnership with global engineering, management and development consultancy Mott MacDonald. Despite the moderate pandemic environment, airports in the region have continued to provide safe and high quality service for the benefit of their passengers. However, ACI APAC said travel restrictions ranging from mandatory quarantines at designated facilities to pre-departure and arrival testing, the suspension of international air travel in parts of the region as well as geopolitical conflicts and impacts subsequent macroeconomic factors have been detrimental to overall aviation growth.

“Analysis shows that travel restrictions have largely failed to prevent the spread of Covid-19 primarily due to the highly infectious nature of the Omicron variant and have proven to be a deterrent to the resumption of aviation, impacting region’s economy,” said Stefano Baronci, Managing Director of ACI APAC. On the contrary, the cargo activity proves the leading role that APAC plays in the global economy, he said. , adding that despite an improving trend, airport financial margins have remained well below pre-pandemic levels and are economically unsustainable.