Cross-border travel in the world recovered its pre-pandemic levels in April

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Cross-border travel in the world recovered its pre-pandemic levels in April

For the first time since the start of the pandemic, global leisure and business flights returned to levels not seen since 2019, before the onset of covid-19.

This is confirmed by the third annual travel report from the Mastercard Economics Institute, which analyzes flight trends in 37 global markets.

The report found that cross border travel they reached pre-pandemic levels as of March 2022, two years after the pandemic broke out.

According to the study, the most important growth was registered in Europe, which has 550 million more reserves for 2022, than those it had last year. They are followed by the Asia-Pacific region, with 430 million more scheduled flights, and North America, with 354 million additional reservations than there were in 2021.

In contrast, the regions furthest behind are Central Asia, Africa and Latin America, which have between 115 million and 120 million additional flight bookings compared to last year.

“Among the top destinations visited by Asia Pacific travelers in the first quarter of 2022, 50% were outside the region according to our data, with the United States being number one. Despite a delayed recovery compared to the West, travelers in Asia Pacific have shown a strong desire to fly again,” said David Mann, chief economist for Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa at the Mastercard Economics Institute.

Among other study findings, it says the US, UK and Spain were the top international travel destinations based on flight bookings for this year, as long-haul travel recovered.

Mastercard Economics Institute estimates in the report that an additional 1.5 billion passengers will fly around the world this year compared to last year.

It adds that global flight bookings for leisure travel soared in April this year 25% above pre-pandemic levels.

According to the study, the strong increase in leisure travel was driven by the number of short- and medium-haul flights, which were higher in April than during the same period in 2019.

Long-haul leisure flights also picked up. The report ensures that this type of international reserves began the year being 75% below the levels of 2019, and in just three months, managed to match the pre-pandemic line.

Business travelers are also getting back in business. In late March, business flight bookings surpassed 2019 levels for the first time since the pandemic began, marking a major breakthrough for airlines that rely on corporate passengers for their “frequent flyer” line of sales. .

Despite this important rebound in flight reservations worldwide, the outlook for this year and next could vary negatively, taking into account the increase in global inflation, the instability of the markets, the geopolitical problems in Europe and Asia due to the war in Ukraine and the increase in covid-19 infections, mainly in Asia, due to China’s “Zero Covid” policy.

“Among the many risks that could derail the travel recovery, we would put Covid as the biggest game changer,” David Mann said.

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