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After a summer full of adventures, new data showed the
aviation industry in the United States thrived as travel continued to work
toward reaching pre-pandemic levels.
According to travel analytics firm ForwardKeys, flight
bookings around the world between July 1 and August 31 were still 23 percent
behind 2019 totals, but still 31 percent higher than last year’s levels.
The U.S. topped the list of most visited country
destinations by share of scheduled flight bookings, attracting 11 percent of
all international passengers this summer. Spain finished second on the list,
while the United Kingdom, Italy and Japan rounded out the top five.
France, Mexico, Germany, Canada and Turkey were also ranked
in the top 10.
“Throughout the pandemic, U.S. travelers were an economic
lifeline for many Caribbean destinations,” ForwardKeys Vice President Olivier
Ponti said. “As other parts of the world relaxed their entry restrictions,
Americans arrived. This summer, they have been extremely helpful to many
As for outbound travel, America ranked first again with an
18 percent share of scheduled flight bookings, followed by Germany, the UK,
Canada, France, South Korea, China, Japan, Spain and Italy.
Travel markets continue to recover from the impact of the pandemic,
as the U.S. was only one percent off the country’s outbound travel levels in
2019. Other markets were not so successful, though, as Germany was down 21
percent and Japan was down 53 percent from pre-pandemic totals.
“Looking ahead to Q4 and further to 2024, I am increasingly
optimistic,” Ponti continued. “Right now, global flight bookings for the last
three months of the year are just 4% behind 2019 and for the first three months
of 2024 are 3% ahead.”
Classic beach hotspots proved to be the most resilient, with
summer 2023’s top ten destinations all exceeding 2019 totals. The most flown-to
tropical paradises include Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Columbia,
Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Argentina, Greece, Tanzania, the Bahamas and Mexico.
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