SYDNEY, Oct 11 — Passenger airline traffic in the Asia-Pacific region should recover to around 73 per cent of 2019 levels by year-end as travel restrictions relax, up from 53 per cent in August, the Asia-Pacific head of airline industry group IATA said today.

“There is no mistaking I think the momentum is very strong especially with all major markets in the Asia-Pacific now open except for China,” IATA Regional Vice President, Asia Pacific, Philip Goh told reporters on a webinar.

Asia’s aviation recovery has lagged other parts of the world in large part because of China’s ongoing border closures that have kept its international passenger numbers averaging only 2 per cent to 3 per cent of pre-pandemic levels, according to IATA data.


The year-end traffic estimate is based on China opening its borders soon, though the actual date remains unclear, Goh said.

In positive news for airlines, Japan resumed visa-free travel for tourists on Tuesday, Taiwan will end quarantine for arrivals on Thursday and Hong Kong stopped quarantine last month.

International passenger traffic in the region was at 38 per cent of 2019 levels in August, according to IATA, which estimates it will take until 2025 to reach pre-pandemic levels. — Reuters