India's domestic air travel in the full year 2022 significantly improved to 48.8% as compared to 2021 and reached 85.7% of the pre-Covid 2019 levels, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

India's domestic aviation market's share in the global industry stood at 2% in 2022, with revenue passenger kilometres (RPK) rising 48.8% and available seat kilometres (ASK) surging 30.1%. The domestic US market led the chart at 19.2% market share globally, followed by China at 6.5% and India at 2%.

In 2022, international traffic accounted for 58% of overall air travel, while domestic traffic accounted for 42%.

"India saw domestic RPKs increase substantially in 2022 with concerns of new Covid-19 outbreaks fading away. Domestic RPKs for 2022 accounted for 85.7% of 2019 levels while December 2022 stood 3.6% below traffic for the same month in 2019," says the IATA report.

For the US, the domestic market demand remained strong in December and throughout the year as the RPKs reached 94.1% of 2019 traffic in 2022 and December fell 8.7% short of December 2019 traffic levels, the report adds.

In its industry year-end review, IATA says the aviation industry closed the year 2022 with many positive developments. "Regions, where travel restrictions were lifted earlier, have seen a stronger recovery in RPKs, reaching close to their pre-Covid levels of passenger traffic. Route areas within Europe and between Europe and neighbouring regions such as Africa and the Middle East, as well as the Americas, have recovered 76.3 to 87.3% of their 2019 RPKs."

Total traffic in 2022 (measured in revenue passenger kilometres or RPKs) rose 64.4% compared to 2021. Globally, the full-year 2022 traffic was at 68.5% of pre-pandemic (2019) levels. December 2022 total traffic rose 39.7% compared to December 2021 and reached 76.9% of the December 2019 level.

The domestic traffic for 2022 rose 10.9% compared to the prior year, and it was at 79.6% of the full-year 2019 level. The December 2022 domestic traffic was up 2.6% over the year-earlier period and was at 79.9% of December 2019 traffic, says IATA.

“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.

The global aviation body thinks the international airline industry is looking at profitability in 2023. It says international traffic in 2022 climbed 152.7% versus 2021 and reached 62.2% of 2019 levels. December 2022 international traffic climbed 80.2% over December 2021, reaching 75.1% of the level in December 2019, the data shows.

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