The Association of Asia-Pacific Airlines (AAPA) released passenger traffic figures for March 2022, which reveal that international air travel demand has significantly increased.  

The positive results were attributed to the easing of travel restrictions across several countries in Asia-Pacific.   

In March 2022, 3.5 million international passengers traveled with Asia-Pacific carriers, an increase compared to the same month in 2021, when just 1.2 million passengers were recorded.  

Subhas Menon, AAPA Director General, said: “After two years of coping with the pandemic, a growing number of Asian governments have begun to treat COVID-19 as endemic. The progressive reopening of borders and easing of restrictions, including the removal of quarantines for vaccinated travelers and reduced testing requirements, have positively impacted international travel demand.” 

Menon also said that some uncertainty regarding the region’s travel recovery still remained.  

“Major markets such as China and Japan remain largely closed off to international visitors. More broadly, elevated fuel prices and inflation across major economies, as well as the weakening of selected Asian currencies, may also affect the pace and extent of recovery in the region’s travel markets,” Menon explained.  

China is considered to be one of the strictest places in the world in terms of quarantine requirements and travel restrictions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of the country's strict Zero-COVID policy, millions of people in China have been placed under lockdown.   

In order to make air travel accessible to the wider public once again, close “cooperation among governments and industry partners remains crucial to the restoration of international connectivity”, Menon said.  

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Air China, China Southern Airlines, and China Eastern Airlines have seen a sharp decline in March 2022 passenger traffic.