DUBAI: The global air travel industry's recovery from the COVID pandemic was gaining momentum, but high fuel prices will put pressure on airlines, the head of the world's biggest airline trade body said on Wednesday.
Globally, passenger traffic in July was at about 75% of pre-pandemic levels, helped by strong demand for domestic services where traffic had recovered 86.9% of the level seen in July 2019, the body said.
International traffic, however, had recovered 67.9% of the pre-pandemic levels in July, lagging behind domestic demand.
International Air Transport Association (IATA) Director General Willie Walsh, on a call with reporters, described it as a "solid recovery", helped by demand in the northern hemisphere over the summer and increased domestic activity in China.
However, Walsh warned that high jet fuel prices would continue to put pressure on airlines' cost base for the rest of the year, which he described as a challenge for carriers.
"I am aware of some airlines that have embarked on hedging in recent months... just to provide themselves with some protection against the volatility that we're witnessing," he said. (Reporting by Alexander Cornwell; Editing by Edmund Blair and Bernadette Baum)