The Asia Pacific region will no longer be the world’s largest travel region by the end of 2022, ceding the title to Europe. That’s according to a new report from international travel industry analysts at CAPACentre for Aviation.

The organization discussed how aviation in the region remains down by 45 percent compared to pre-pandemic levels while European air travel has recovered to roughly 85 percent of pre-pandemic levels. That being said, we believe the reason is that China is still locked up/locked down.

In 2019, 3.38 billion passengers transited through Asia Pacific airports. CAPA reported current predictions that only 1.84 billion passengers would pass through Asia Pacific hubs by the end of this year. Most travel in Asia Pacific destinations remains at 50 percent or more below 2019 levels.

India is the standout at only 11 percent below 2019. CAPA predicts Asia Pacific will not see a full return to pre-pandemic travel figures until the end of 2023 or early 2024.

China’s international share of Asia Pacific seats fell from 26.2 percent in 2019 to an estimated 5 percent in 2022, as this chart underscores: 

China and Japan: international scheduled seats per week, 2021 to 2022 year to date. Chart by Centre for Aviation.
The report from the Centre for Aviation

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Tags: china outbound, coronavirus recovery, news blog