Air passenger numbers are expected to double to 8.2 billion in the next 20 years boosting aviation to new heights and creating some 100 million jobs globally, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said this week.
Europe is set to welcome an additional 611 million passengers by 2037 accounting for a total market of 1.9 billion passengers.
The report expects a 3.5 percent compound annual growth rate (CGR) in the 20-year period ahead.
“Aviation is growing, and that is generating huge benefits for the world. A doubling of air passengers in the next 20 years could support 100 million jobs globally,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA director general and CEO, but warned that the positive effects of growth could be hindered if restrictive protectionist measures are implemented by governments.
“Global prosperity depends on air connectivity. Aviation is sensitive to policies that either support or undermine growth. And these seem to be pointing in the wrong direction. Dampening demand for air connectivity risks high quality jobs, and economic activity dependent on global mobility,” said de Juniac.
According to the IATA findings, the Asia-Pacific region is expected to drive the biggest growth with more than half the total number of new passengers over the next 20 years coming from these markets.
China will displace the US as the world’s largest aviation market in the mid-2020s as passenger demand grows stronger in the long term.
India will move to third spot after the US, surpassing the UK around 2024, with Indonesia expected to become the fourth largest market by 2030. Thailand is also set to enter the top 10 markets in 2030, replacing Italy, which drops out of the ranking.
IATA further notes that aviation is facing an infrastructure crisis and is calling on governments to work closely with the industry, to be more ambitious in developing efficient infrastructure, fit for purpose, and offering value for money.
“The world stands to benefit greatly from better connectivity. However, at this rate, airports and air traffic control will not be able to handle demand. Governments and infrastructure operators must strategically plan for the future. Decisions made now will have an impact on the value created by aviation for their regions,” said de Juniac.
In brief the fastest growing aviation markets in terms of annual additional passengers from 2017 to 2037 is China with 1 billion new passengers for a total of 1.6 billion, followed by the US at 481 million new passengers for a total of 1.3 billion; India and 414 million new passengers for a total of 572 million; Indonesia with 282 million new passengers for a total of 411 million; and Thailand at 116 million new passengers for a total of 214 million.
Meanwhile, routes to, from and within Asia-Pacific will see an extra 2.35 billion annual passengers by 2037, creating a total market size of 3.9 billion flyers.