Air trav­ellers num­ber to dou­ble to 8.2 bil­lion in 2037, says IATA

Pro­tec­tion­ism could re­duce avi­a­tion’s ben­e­fits

Business a.m. - - NEWS - Sade Wil­liams, Travel Port

THE INTERNA TIONAL AIR TRANS PORT As­so­ci­a­tion (IATA) re­vealed that present trends in air trans­port sug­gest pas­sen­ger num­bers could dou­ble to 8.2 bil­lion in 2037. The lat­est up­date to IATA’s 20Year Air Pas­sen­ger Forecast, shows that an in­creas­ing shift East­wards in the cen­ter of grav­ity of the in­dus­try is be­hind the con­tin­ued strong growth. Over the next two decades, the forecast an­tic­i­pates a 3.5% Com­pound An­nual Growth Rate (CAGR), lead­ing to a dou­bling in

pas­sen­ger num­bers from to­day’s lev­els.

The As­so­ci­a­tion 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.

“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. There are two im­por­tant things that stand out about this year’s forecast. Firstly, we are see­ing a geo­graph­i­cal reshuf­fling of world air traf­fic to the East. And sec­ondly, we fore­see a sig­nif­i­cant neg­a­tive im­pact on the growth and ben­e­fits of avi­a­tion if tough and re­stric­tive pro­tec­tion­ist mea­sures are im­ple­mented,” said Alexan­dre de Ju­niac, IATA’s direc­tor gen­eral and CEO

East­ward shift in avi­a­tion’s cen­ter of grav­ity con­tin­ues.

The Asia-Pa­cific region will drive the big­gest growth with more than half the to­tal num­ber of new pas­sen­gers over the next 20 years com­ing from th­ese mar­kets. Growth in this mar­ket is be­ing driven by a com­bi­na­tion of con­tin­ued ro­bust eco­nomic growth, im­prove­ments in house­hold in­comes and fa­vor­able pop­u­la­tion and de­mo­graphic pro­files.

China, IATA said will dis­place the United States as the world’s largest avi­a­tion mar­ket (de­fined as traf­fic to, from and within the coun­try) in the mid-2020s. The re­bal­anc­ing of China’s econ­omy to­wards con­sump­tion will sup­port strong pas­sen­ger de­mand over the long term.

In­dia will take 3rd place after the US, sur­pass­ing the UK around 2024.

In­done­sia is forecast to be a stand­out per­former - climb­ing from the world’s 10th largest avi­a­tion mar­ket in 2017 to the 4th largest by 2030.

Thai­land is ex­pected to en­ter the top 10 mar­kets in 2030, re­plac­ing Italy which drops out of the rank­ing.

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