Press Releases

Latest air travel outlook reveals strong northern hemisphere summer season ahead

Montreal, 19 June 2023 – Airports Council International (ACI) World has today published its latest quarterly airport traffic outlook showing strong air travel demand will continue to improve into the northern hemisphere summer season.

Highlights from ACI World’s 13th Advisory Bulletin on the impact of COVID-19 on the airport business—and the path to recovery include:

  • The easing of inflation and rising consumer confidence in most OECD countries combined with declining jet fuel prices, suggests sustained strong air travel demand that will continue to improve into the summer season.
  • Airports are forecasted to welcome 2.7 billion passengers in Q2 2023 and 2.9 billion in Q3 2023.
  • Global passenger volume is projected to reach 8.4 billion in 2023, the latter representing 92% of 2019 levels.
  • The reopening of China’s economy further contributes to global activity and international air travel. Its economy exceeded expectations in Q1 2023, with GDP growth accelerating to 4.5% from 2.9% in Q4 2022.
  • The Asia-Pacific region is expected rebound in 2023, reaching 2.9 billion, or 85.3% of 2019 levels.
  • The share of international passengers is expected to make up 38% of total passengers in 2023, close to the 42% of traffic share it achieved in 2019.

ACI World Director General Luis Felipe de Oliveira said: “Increasing passenger volumes, rising consumer confidence in most OECD countries, combined with declining jet fuel prices, suggests air travel demand will remain strong into the northern hemisphere summer season. The opening of Chinese aviation markets represents especially positive progress to global activity and air travel demand.

“But we must be vigilant. GDP growth forecasts have moderated and energy and food prices, although decreased from their peak levels, remain higher than pre-pandemic levels. Inflation will also be an issue in the near term, straining the financial viability of airports as they face increased operational costs.

“Amidst this background, governments must support airports by allowing them to operate as businesses in their own right. Airports needs to follow strong regulatory frameworks and cannot increase the charges without government approval – airlines in their business could adapt their tariffs based on many variables.  Flexible global policies on charges can help airports recover and grow sustainably, optimize the customer experience, invest in current and future infrastructure, meet decarbonization targets, and maximize airports’ social and economic benefits amongst many other benefits.”

In May 2023, ACI World launched the #Back2Facts on the Airport Business campaign aimed at explaining the positive socio-economic impacts of airports and aviation as a whole, and the need for governments to support the airport business in their recovery from the pandemic and in their journey to sustainable growth.

About ACI

Airports Council International (ACI), the trade association of the world’s airports, is a federated organization comprising ACI World, ACI Africa, ACI Asia-Pacific, ACI EUROPE, ACI Latin America and the Caribbean and ACI North America. In representing the best interests of airports during key phases of policy development, ACI makes a significant contribution toward ensuring a global air transport system that is safe, secure, efficient, and environmentally sustainable. As of January 2023, ACI serves 712 members, operating 1925 airports in 171 countries.

Editor notes

  1. Read the 13th Advisory Bulletin on the impact of COVID-19 on the airport business—and the path to recovery.
  2. Access #Back2Facts on the Airport Business.

Media contacts      

Sabrina Guerrieri 
Interim Director, Communications  
ACI World 
Telephone: +1 514 373 1254 

Adam Zampini
Director, Communications and Marketing
ACI World
Telephone: +1 514 373 1254