Passenger traffic in Latin America and the Caribbean grew 8.1% in September

September marked an important milestone in passenger transportation in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), whose volume grew 8.1% compared to September 2022 

The transportation of 34.4 million passengers was boosted by the intraregional international market that increased 24.5% compared to 2022. In addition, the total passenger volume during the third quarter of 2023 (3Q23) reached almost 116 million, exceeding 11% over the third quarter of 2022. 

One of the most important data to highlight is that the increase of 5.1% in September 2023 compared to September 2019 represents the highest percentage increase so far this year compared to pre-pandemic levels, according to the data from the Report of the Passenger Traffic in the region, report prepared by the Latin American and Caribbean Air Transport Association (ALTA). 

“The growth in passenger traffic in LAC reflects once again what we always say: aviation is an essential service in the region and everyone involved in the industry is working hard to implement efficiencies that translate into more people being able to access the safer and more efficient means of transportation. International growth also demonstrates the interest in visiting the countries of the region and the great potential that our destinations have, as well as the opportunities that we can achieve if efficient regulations consistent with the markets are implemented. Industry-government collaborative work continues to be a necessity that will generate returns for the population. Despite the challenges our countries face, such as rising fuel prices and economic volatility, the commitment to this industry will continue to drive growth and the direct, indirect and catalyzed opportunities that this sector generates for the population,” he comments. José Ricardo Botelho, executive director and CEO of ALTA. 

Domestic traffic increases in Mexico, Argentina and Chile but decreases in Colombia 

With 19.2 million passengers transported, domestic passenger traffic in Latin America and the Caribbean grew 4.6% in September 2023 compared to 2022, reaching 34.4 million passengers. Specifically, domestic passenger traffic in Argentina grew 23% in September, driven by increased frequencies on routes such as Bariloche-Ezeiza and Ezeiza-Puerto Iguazú. 

For its part, domestic traffic in Brazil grew 9% in September, driven by the increase in frequencies on routes such as Rio de Janeiro (GIG)-Sao Paulo (GRU). While traffic in Chile grew 21% in September, driven by the increase in frequencies on routes such as Santiago-Iquique. 

Mexico grew 8% in its passenger traffic compared to September 2022. The Cancun-Mexico City route reflected a 13% reduction in the number of frequencies compared to 2022, while the Mexico City-Oaxaca route registered an increase of 16%. 

Colombia, for its part, had a reduction of 11% in its domestic market compared to 2022. The Bogotá-Medellín route, the one with the highest number of frequencies on a national scale and the second most important on a regional scale, was reduced by 9% compared to the same month of 2022. 

International passenger growth 

The Dominican Republic was the country with the highest growth in international passengers with an increase of 11%. This growth was mainly due to the increase in flights from Mexico and Cuba, which increased by 194% and 63%, respectively. 

Brazil also recorded significant growth (35%). This growth was mainly due to the increase in flights to Chile and Uruguay, which increased by 97% and 49%, respectively. Chile also stood out with an increase of 30%. This growth was mainly due to the increase in frequencies on routes such as Rio de Janeiro (GIG)-Santiago and Santiago-Bogotá. 

Other countries that recorded good performance were Venezuela with 11% and Chile and Uruguay with increases of 32% and 34%, respectively. 

“The largest markets in the region continue to show growth and it is great news. But we cannot forget that this is growth despite the great challenges that the sector faces to provide more and better options. Countries like Brazil face costs that ultimately harm the passenger, such as excessive judicialization, legal uncertainty and extremely high fuel costs. For this reason, the State Agendas are our constant call to governments to generate competitive environments where the sector can operate in accordance with market conditions and offer more and better options to more and more users,” adds Botelho. 

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