Middle Eastern airlines saw 157% rise in passenger traffic in 2022

Middle Eastern airlines saw 157% rise in passenger traffic in 2022

Capacity for regional carriers increased 73% and load factor climbed to 76%

According to a new report released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Middle Eastern airlines saw a 157% rise in passenger traffic in 2022 compared to the previous year, while December demand climbed 69.8% compared to the same month in 2021.

The report also highlighted that International traffic in 2022 climbed 152% versus 2021 and reached 62% of 2019 levels. December 2022 international traffic climbed 80% over December 2021, reaching 75% of the level in December 2019.


Globally, full year 2022 traffic was at 69% of pre-pandemic (2019) levels. December 2022 total traffic rose 40% compared to December 2021 and reached 77% of the December 2019 level. Measured in revenue passenger kilometres or RPKs, total traffic in 2022 rose 64% compared to 2021.

Commenting on the findings, IATA director general Willie Walsh said: “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."

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Walsh added: “It's vital that governments learn the lesson that travel restrictions and border closures have little positive impact in terms of slowing the spread of infectious diseases in our globally interconnected world. However, they have an enormous negative impact on people’s lives and livelihoods, as well as on the global economy that depends on the unfettered movement of people and goods.” 

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