Airports Council International Asia-Pacific has written a letter,
co-signed by ACI World and World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), to
the Prime Minister of Japan, urging the government in Tokyo to remove
all restrictions and restore travel privileges to enable smooth recovery
of the industry in the region.
The letter follows the release of ACI figures which show Asia Pacific
is unlikely to remain the world’s largest air passenger market in 2022
as the impact of China’s tough border measures and Japan’s cautious
approach to relaxation of inbound travel restrictions begin to have an
impact in the skies.
latest ACI Asia-Pacific forecast suggests Asia-Pacific’s recent
domination of the civil aviation market will be challenged by Europe,
which will take the biggest share of passenger traffic. Asia Pacific is
estimated to finish second at a comparable level with North America.
ACI figures indicate that by the end of 2022, passenger traffic in
Asia Pacific will only recover by about 55% as compared to pre-pandemic
This contrasts sharply with other regions where recovery is
substantially higher, and estimated to be approximately between 70% and
Although the latest ACI forecast predicts 22% Asia Pacific growth for
the year 2022 over 2021, the share of passenger traffic in Asia-Pacific
is likely to drop to second globally, with an estimated traffic of 1.84
billion passengers — a decline of 45% compared to 2019.
Stefano Baronci, director general of ACI Asia-Pacific said, “China
and Japan — one of the largest contributors to the regions overall
traffic — have been slow in lifting travel and Covid restrictions. We
are urging states to take a measured approach to facilitate the recovery
in a more sustainable manner and without causing significant impact on
their healthcare system.”
In the letter to the Prime Minister of Japan, ACI and WTTC urged the
Japanese government to take necessary actions to bolster the recovery of
the industry, including resumption of visa exemptions to countries that
had such an agreement with Japan.