With Japan's leading airlines Japan Airlines Group and ANA Group making record-high profits between April and September 2023, the country's tourism industry seems to have successfully bounced back from the coronavirus-induced slump of 2020 and 2021. As our chart based on data aggregated in the Allianz Partners Big Book of Travel Data shows, ANA, in particular, ranks highly compared to other major airlines from the Asia-Pacific region.
China Southern Group and Singapore-based SIA Group only eked out a minor lead on ANA, with annual revenues of $13 billion and $12.7 billion, respectively. Combined, ANA and Japan Airlines generated roughly $23 billion in their fiscal years ending in March 2023. Five of the eight top airlines in the region are headquartered in China or Japan. Looking at the overall passenger numbers, Indian airline IndiGo takes the lead with 85 million people transported in 2022, roughly 23 million more than the direct runner-up China Southern.
Japan was one of the countries that held on to its coronavirus restrictions the longest among industrialized nations. The East Asian island state lifted all said restrictions in May 2023, including the necessity for masks and negative tests to enter the country. This led to an immense increase in international arrivals. For September 2023, visitor numbers had reached 96.1 percent of those in the same month before the outbreak of the pandemic in 2019, which translates to roughly 2 million tourists entering the country that month.
Globally, domestic revenue passenger kilometers (RPK) reached 98.1 percent of March 2019 levels in March 2023, while international RPKs stood at 86.1 percent of March 2019 levels in March 2023, mainly owed to the reopening of China for international travel.