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IBA Insight Shows Middle East Airlines Surpassing Pre-Pandemic Capacity

IBA’s latest Aviation Industry Barometer shows that Middle Eastern operators surpassed pre-pandemic capacity with ASKs at 103% in May 2023 compared to 2019 levels.

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Data from IBA Insight, IBA’s aviation intelligence platform, revealed that in May:


  • Monthly global passenger capacity reached 96% of pre-pandemic ASKs in May 2023, an improvement of +1% compared to April 2023.

  • Middle Eastern operators surpassed pre-pandemic capacity with ASKs at 103% compared to 2019. The region now joins the ranks of Latin America, North America and Africa where operators are on-average already trending above 2019 capacity levels.

  • IBA expect global passenger ASKs to surpass 2019 levels by July 2023, although operators in Europe and APAC are still lagging.

  • Passenger ASKs from Chinese operators are trending at 87% of 2019 levels, a slight retreat from 88% in April 2023, but nonetheless a strong improvement from 44% in December 2022.

  • In May 2023, 397k commercial passenger flights were recorded by Chinese operators, compared to 391k in April 2023.

  • Overall, there were approximately 81 million commercial passenger flights in May 2023, compared to 2.65 million in April 2023, while 2.31 million flights were recorded in May 2022.

  • There were 123 commercial aircraft deliveries in May 2023, representing a month-on-month and year-on-year variance of +34% and +41%




About IBA

IBA delivers the best of all worlds - deep aviation consultancy expertise, and cutting-edge and actionable data insights, all delivered by a proven, expert team with a strong customer focus.


An independent, innovative and forward-thinking business, IBA has over 35 years of heritage and experience in aviation. Having won the Sustainable Technology award for its IBA NetZero platform in 2023 and for its Carbon Emissions Calculator in 2022, and being named 'Appraiser of the Year' by their clients for five years, IBA prides itself on its integrity, fierce independence, and continual innovation.


The key to IBA’s success is its people – some of the best in the industry, based in multiple locations across the globe – real experts who are passionate about aviation and go the extra mile for their clients.


IBA media contacts


Charlie Hampton / Faye Clarke

Email: [email protected] / [email protected]

Mobile: +44 (0)7884 187297


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