The Middle East and Africa will see the strongest post-COVID-19 air travel recovery in the third quarter of 2022 as airports in the region act as hubs for people travelling between Europe and the Asia Pacific.

The region will see air travel arrivals reach 83 percent of pre-pandemic levels in Q3 2022, compared with 65 percent globally, 76 percent in the Americas, 71 percent in Europe and 35 percent in Asia Pacific in Q3 2019.

Middle Eastern airport are hubs for travel between Asia Pacific and Europe, which has led to the region benefitting from the revival of intercontinental travel, said ForwardKeys, a platform that analyses millions of daily flights and provides travel intelligence, in a report for the World Travel Market (WTM).

Meanwhile, the closure of Russian airspace due to the invasion of Ukraine has also contributed to increased use of Middle East and African air hubs, ForwardKeys said, along with diasporas in Europe and the USA making trips home to see family in the regions.

Cairo will see a 23 percent increase in arrivals in the third quarter of 2022 compared with 2019, Nigeria 14 percent, Ghana eight percent and Ivory Coast one percent.

Travel to and within the Asia Pacific region is recovering more slowly, due to COVID-19 travel restrictions remaining in force for longer, said FowardKeys.

(Writing by Imogen Lillywhite; editing by Seban Scaria)