PassportCard
Flywire

September Passenger Demand Provides Solid End to Third Quarter

Total traffic in September 2023 (measured in revenue passenger kilometers or RPKs) rose 30.1% compared to September 2022. Globally, traffic is now at 97.3% of pre-COVID levels.

Domestic traffic hit a new high for the month of September, as traffic rose 28.3% versus September 2022 and exceeded the September 2019 level by 5.0%.

International traffic climbed 31.2% compared to the same month a year ago. All markets saw double-digit percentage gains year on year. International RPKs reached 93.1% of September 2019 levels.

“The third quarter of 2023 ended on a high note, with record domestic passenger demand for the month of September and continued strong international traffic,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General.

Air Passenger Market in Detail

SEPTEMBER 2023 (% YEAR-ON-YEAR) WORLD SHARE​1 RPK ASK PLF(%-PT)​2 PLF(LEVEL)​3
Total Market
100%
30.1%
28.8%
0.8%
82.6%
Africa
2.1%
24.6%
27.2%
-1.5%
73.1%
Asia Pacific
22.1%
87.9%
75.5%
5.3%
80.0%
Europe
30.8%
13.8%
12.8%
0.8%
86.0%
Latin America
6.4%
15.7%
14.3%
1.1%
83.9%
Middle East
9.8%
26.1%
22.8%
2.2%
81.6%
North America
28.8%
9.7%
12.5%
-2.1%
83.0%

1) % of industry RPKs in 2022    2) Year-on-year change in load factor    3) Load Factor Level

International Passenger Markets

Asia-Pacific airlines had a 92.6% increase in September 2023 traffic compared to September 2022, continuing to lead the regions in terms of annual improvement. Capacity climbed 82.1% and the load factor increased by 4.5 percentage points to 82.5%.

European carriers’ September traffic climbed 15.7% versus September 2022. Capacity increased 14.9%, and load factor edged up 0.6 percentage points to 85.5%.

Middle Eastern airlines saw a 26.6% increase in September traffic compared to a year ago. Capacity rose 23.7% and load factor climbed 1.9 percentage points to 81.8%.

North American carriers had an 18.9% traffic rise in September 2023 versus the 2022 period. Capacity increased 18.0%, and load factor improved 0.6 percentage points to 85.6%.

Latin American airlines’ traffic rose 26.8% compared to the same month in 2022. September capacity climbed 24.7% and load factor rose 1.4 percentage points to 85.8%.

African airlines posted a 28.1% traffic increase in September 2023 versus a year ago. Capacity was up 29.9% and load factor slipped 1.0 percentage points to 72.6%.

Domestic Passenger Markets

SEPTEMBER 2023 (% YEAR-ON-YEAR) WORLD SHARE​1 RPK ASK PLF(%-PT)​2 PLF(LEVEL)​3
Domestic
41.9%
28.3%
28.2%
0.1%
80.7%
Domestic Australia
1.0%
7.2%
11.7%
-3.6%
84.7%
Domestic Brazil
1.5%
5.0%
3.9%
0.8%
81.4%
Domestic China P.R.
6.4%
168.7%
135.2%
9.6%
76.7%
Domestic India
2.0%
17.2%
13.0%
3.1%
84.7%
Domestic Japan
1.2%
19.9%
4.3%
9.7%
74.9%
Domestic US
19.2%
5.5%
10.4%
-3.8%
81.3%

1) % of industry RPKs in 2022    2) year-on-year change in load factor    3) Load Factor Level 

China’s domestic market continued to perform, with demand up 168.7% year over year. This growth however is measured from a low base in September 2022, when domestic travel restrictions were reintroduced in some Chinese provinces.

Japan’s domestic traffic rebounded strongly from the impact of typhoons in August, as RPKs rose 19.9% compared to September 2022.

Air Passenger Market Overview - September 2023

SEPTEMBER 2023 (% CH VS SAME MONTH IN 2019) WORLD SHARE1 RPK ASK PLF (%-PT)2 PLF (LEVEL)​3
Total Market
100.0%
-2.7%
-3.5%
0.7%
82.6%
International
58.1%
-6.9%
-9.2%
2.1%
83.8%
Domestic
41.9%
5.0%
7.1%
-1.6%
80.7%

1) % of industry RPKs in 2022    2) year-on-year change in load factor    3) Load Factor Level 

The Bottom Line

“With the end of 2023 fast approaching, we can look back on a year of strong recovery in demand as passengers took full advantage of their freedom to travel. There is every reason to believe that this momentum can be maintained in the New Year, despite economic and political uncertainties in parts of the world. But we need the whole value chain to be ready. Supply chain issues in the aircraft manufacturing sector are unacceptable. They have held back the recovery and solutions must be found. The same holds true for infrastructure providers, particularly air navigation service providers. Equipment failures, staffing shortages and labor unrest made it impossible to deliver the flying experience our customers expect. A successful 2024 needs the whole value chain to be fully prepared to handle the demand that is coming,” said Walsh.

Cigna
UnitedHealthcare Global

Socials