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Global air travel is recovering with big domestic boost in Asia

[JAKARTA] Air travel is slowly picking up globally thanks to a recovery in domestic flights, with countries in the Asia-Pacific region accounting for half of the top 20 markets, according to travel data analytics provider Cirium.

Vietnam, Indonesia and South Korea are the only countries in the world to show growth in domestic air travel in July compared with the same month last year, while China and the US dominate in the number of flights operated, Cirium said in a report Friday.

There are 413,538 domestic flights in the US scheduled for this month, down 46 per cent from a year earlier. China has 378,434, though capacity is higher there, according to the report.

The figures "reveal a fragile but cautiously resurgent market, as the air travel attempts to recover from the worst collapse in its history", Cirium's director of market development Alistair Rivers said.

India, the third-biggest domestic market after the US and China, is showing signs of a recovery with scheduled domestic flights down just 4 per cent from July 2019.

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Aircraft are being brought out of storage to meet the growing demand, with 59 per cent of the global fleet back in service, according to Cirium. At the height of the coronavirus crisis, almost two-thirds of the world's 26,300 passenger jets were in storage.

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