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October 26, 2018

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China soon to be world No. 1 in air travel

The International Air Transport Association says its 20-Year Air Passenger Forecast shows that China will displace the United States as the world’s largest aviation market in the mid-2020s.

The rebalancing of China’s economy toward consumption will support strong passenger demand over the long term, said Wednesday’s IATA report covering domestic and international traffic.

IATA said present trends in air transport suggest global passenger numbers could double to 8.2 billion in 2037.

“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’s director general and CEO.

IATA warned, however, that growth prospects for air transport, and the economic benefits driven by aviation, “could be curtailed if protectionist measures are implemented by governments.”

Over the next two decades, the forecast anticipates a 3.5 percent compound annual growth rate, leading to a doubling in passenger numbers from today’s levels.

The Asia-Pacific region will drive growth with more than half the total number of new passengers over the next 20 years.

Growth in the region will be driven by robust economic growth, rising household incomes and favorable population and demographic profiles.


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