IATA: Strong summer travel demand

SINGAPORE, 30 May 2023: Growing travel confidence will cause airline bookings to peak during the upcoming ‘Northern summer holiday season’ according to an International Air Transport Association survey.

IATA’s optimism is based on forward bookings data during Q1 2023 for travel from May to September, tracking at 35% above 2022 levels. The survey covered 4,700 travellers in 11 countries.


  • 79% of surveyed travellers said they were planning a trip in the June-August 2023.
  • 85% said that peak travel season disruptions should not be a surprise.
  • 80% said that they expected smooth travel with post-pandemic issues having been resolved.

Forward bookings data indicates that the greatest growth is expected in the following regions:

Asia Pacific region (134.7%);
Middle East (42.9%);
Europe (39.9%);
Africa (36.4%);
Latin America (21.4%);
North America (14.1%).

“Expectations are high for this year’s peak Northern summer travel season. For many, this will be their first post-pandemic travel experience. While some disruptions can be expected, there is a clear expectation that the ramping-up issues faced at some key hub airports in 2022 will have been resolved. Airlines are planning schedules based on the capacity that airports, border control, ground handlers, and air navigation service providers have declared. Over the next months, all industry players now need to deliver,” said IATA’s senior vice president for operations, safety and security, Nick Careen.    

“A lot of work has gone into preparing for the peak Northern summer travel season. Success rests on readiness across all players in the supply chain. If each player delivers on what has been declared, there should be no last-minute requirements to reduce the scale of the schedules that travellers have booked on.”

Labour unrest, particularly in France, is cause for concern. Eurocontrol data on the impact of French strikes earlier this year shows cancellations can spike over a third.

“We need to carefully monitor Europe, where strike actions have caused significant disruptions earlier this year. Governments should have effective contingency plans in place so that the actions of those providing essential services like air traffic control maintain minimum service levels and do not disrupt the hard-earned vacations of those travelling or put at risk the livelihoods of those in the travel and tourism sectors,” Careen concluded.

(Source: IATA)