ACI World’s latest air travel outlook reveals short- and long-term demand

ACI World Press Release | February 22, 2023

Estimated reading time 6 minutes, 34 seconds.

Airports Council International (ACI) World has released its latest Quarterly Airport Traffic Outlook, showing an increase in air travel demand in many markets amid heightened macroeconomic risks. The quarterly update is released along with the annual one ACI World Airport Traffic Forecasts, Information about the expected air traffic up to 2041.

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Airport traffic recovery: 2022 and near-term outlook

Here are the highlights from the 12th Advisory Bulletin on the impact of COVID-19 on airport business – and the path to recovery.

  • With the lifting of travel restrictions and quarantine requirements for vaccinated travelers in 2022, demand has increased in many markets.
  • Global passenger traffic ended the year at 72% of 2019 levels, or a total of 6.5 billion passengers.
  • The market segments are very diverse – the number of international passengers was 60% of the 2019 level, while the number of domestic passengers was 79% in 2022.
  • The passenger volume recovery in 2022 remained mixed across the globe, with the Latin American-Caribbean markets returning 91% of 2019 levels, while the Asia-Pacific region lagged at 52%.
  • Global passenger traffic is expected to reach 92% (or 8.4 billion passengers) of 2019 levels in 2023.
  • Baseline forecasts for global passenger traffic indicate that the industry will recover to 2019 levels by 2024, driven mostly by domestic traffic.

ACI World Director General Luis Felipe de Oliveira said: “The growth in air traffic following the lifting of restrictions in 2022 continues into 2023. We know from our Global Traveler Survey of 4,125 respondents across 30 countries that 86% of respondents are planning an air trip in 2023 — the highest travel intent since the pandemic began.

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“However, we are aware that the speed of recovery depends on several factors. On the one hand, the possible slowdown in GDP growth in the major economies combined with the increase in air fares due to higher jet fuel prices weighs on demand. On the other hand, a strong job market and the reopening of China, the second largest aviation market after the United States, represent a major boost to global passenger traffic.”

ACI World Airport Traffic Forecasts 2022–2041

The ACI World Airport Traffic Forecasts 2022–2041 released today, revealed:

  • Global passenger traffic is expected to reach 19.3 billion in 2041.
  • In 2041, airports around the world are expected to handle nearly 200 million tons of air cargo. The United States and China will remain the two largest markets, together accounting for 40% of global freight.
  • Airports worldwide will see 153.8 million flight movements by 2041. The United States, China, and India are projected to be the leading markets for flight movements in 2041, accounting for 23%, 16%, and 4% of global flight movements, respectively.

ACI World’s flagship dataset presents 20-year traffic forecast figures, providing airport planners and investors with reliable data to help them make informed business decisions and develop data-driven strategies. In addition to forecasts based on data from over 110 countries worldwide, the dataset includes key results, forecast market rankings and insightful charts.

This press release was prepared and distributed by ACI World


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