Travel data has revealed that following three years of subdued activity as a result of the pandemic and its associated travel restrictions, 2023 is expected to represent a return to profit for the airline industry as more and more travellers follow the revenge travel trend.
Traffic measured by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) increased by 44.6% year on year in October 2022 on a global scale, whilst passenger numbers in 2023 are expected to surpass the 4 billion mark for the first time since 2019.
Travelwings.com Chief Business Development Officer for Africa Sean Bradley said that travel data from Bryte Insurance shows that South Africans travel most commonly via major air hubs, with Qatar Airways and United Emirates ranking as the airlines of choice for its customers.
“The well-known London-Dubai route, used by many South Africans as a gateway to Europe and beyond, is currently one of the top-20 most popular routes in the world. As Emirates opened up direct flights from Durban to Dubai in December 2022, we anticipate that this will continue to be the case this year,” said Bradley.
He also revealed that Qatar Airlines has similarly expanded its South African operations in partnership with Airlink, improving connectivity between 45 destinations in 12 countries in southern Africa and offering direct flights between Doha and Johannesburg (21 times a week), Cape Town (10 times) and Durban (4 times), which he believes will have a positive impact on travel numbers going into the future.