Five facts about international travel from Southeast Asia in 2022

Eric Toler, SEA Air Travel Development Manager

We know you are ready to move forward and you are not alone. Enthusiasm for international air travel has revived as COVID-19-related restrictions are gradually lifted around the world, airlines add new international services, and SEA opens a new arrival point for international flights. In preparation for international travel, keep reading to learn more about international travel at SEA.

1. People are ready to travel and will take three more days of vacation this year

US airline executives are almost unanimous in their optimistic forecast for summer air travel demand. In an April 2022 statement, United Airlines CEO Scott Kirby said the demand environment is the strongest in his 30 years in the industry, while Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian said “the demand environment we have today, is at a historical high. “.

We also know that after months and years of postponing international travel, people are rethinking their plans. Working adults worldwide plan to take an average of 21 days off this year, three days more than in 2021, according to a study by Expedia Group.

Domestic tourism travel is booming, but long-haul international travel is still in its infancy as COVID-related restrictions remain in place in many countries.

2. There are now more international flights at SEA Airport than before the pandemic.


The lowest point for international travel was just 11,000 international passengers at SEA in May 2020.


  • In April 2022, more than 322,000 international passengers passed through SEA, which is 31% less than in April 2019 before the pandemic.
  • Southeast Asia will have 43 international flights in summer 2022, up from 42 in 2019 before the COVID pandemic.
    • A “Service” is a unique combination of an airline and a destination. For example, Delta in Tokyo and Japan Airlines in Tokyo are two separate international flights.


  • By this summer, SEA will have 24 airlines serving international destinations, up from 22 in 2019.
  • Airlines that stopped serving Southeast Asia during the pandemic (such as Hainan Airlines and Cathay Pacific) have been compensated by new carriers such as Qatar Airways and WestJet.
  • By this summer, SEA will serve 28 unique international destinations, up from 26 in 2019.
  • Turkish Airlines launched flights to Istanbul on May 27, and on June 1, Air Canada launched flights to Montreal and Finnair launched flights to Helsinki.
  • This October, Air Tahiti Nui will launch direct flights to Papeete, Tahiti, which will be our airport’s first destination in the southern hemisphere.

3. Each new international service brings 100 new jobs to the region.

International flights benefit not only the travelers who use them, but also the residents and businesses of our region. The 2018 Economic Impact Study shows the statewide impact due to local activities associated with the new international service: about 100 jobs, $6.1 million in payroll…

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