Americans are ready to return to the friendly skies. A new report from the Airport Councils International (ACI) indicates that global passenger travel will surpass 2019 levels in 2024, reaching more than 9.7 billion travelers. 

The increase is expected to be short-lived and will taper off over the next few years as markets recover from the impact of the pandemic. The ACI reported that macroeconomic factors, such as high global inflation, slowdown of global GDP, pessimistic business confidence levels and geopolitical conflicts continue to pose a risk to the recovery of air travel. 

Several regions are expected to see a significant influx in travel, including Africa where passenger rates are expected to grow from 219 million in 2013 to 242 million in 2024. It’s predicted it will grow even further in 2025 to 261 million. 

The North American region will have modest growth reaching 2.2 billion in 2024 with a small increase to 2.3 billion in 2025. This would be on par with pre-pandemic growth figures. 

The Asia-Pacific region is also expected to see a marked improvement reaching more than 3.5 billion passengers but at a slightly slower rate of growth at 103 percent over 2019 levels. It’s believed air travel could reach nearly 4 billion by 2025. 

In Europe, meanwhile, passenger traffic is predicted to reach 2.5 billion by 2024, and 2.7 billion in 2025, up from 2.3 billion in 2023. 

Latin America-Caribbean air travel is expected to reach nearly 108 percent over 2019 levels climbing to 795 million passengers in 2024 and 849 million in 2025. 

The Middle East is expected to see modest growth over the next few years, climbing to 466 million in 2024 and 510 million in 2025; however, the ACI noted that geopolitical tension in the region could significantly affect these projections. 

Global passenger traffic is expected to grow at a rate of 4.3 percent over the next three years. Total passenger traffic could reach 25 billion by 2052.