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Global air traffic hits four billion passengers yearly

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IATA’s Director General and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Alexandre de Juniac

The International Air Transport Association (IATA), yesterday, said the worldwide yearly air passenger numbers has exceeded four billion for the first time.

The global clearing house for over 280 airlines, said the new record from industry performance statistics for 2017, was supported by a broad-based improvement in global economic conditions, and lower average airfares.

At the same time, airlines connected a record number of cities worldwide, providing regular services to over 20,000 city pairs in 2017, more than double the level of 1995.

IATA’s Director General and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Alexandre de Juniac, said such increases in direct services improve the industry’s efficiency by cutting costs, and saving time for both travellers and shippers alike.

de Juniac said: “In 2000, the average citizen flew just once every 43 months. In 2017, the figure was once every 22 months. Flying has never been more accessible. And this is liberating people to explore more of our planet for work, leisure and education. Aviation is the business of freedom.”

This information is included in the recently released 62nd Edition of World Air Transport Statistics (WATS), the yearbook of the airline industry’s performance, which showed that airlines carried 4.1 billion passengers on scheduled services, an increase of 7.3 per cent over 2016, representing an additional 280 million trips by air.

Airlines in the Asia-Pacific region once again carried the largest number of passengers.
The regional rankings, based on total passengers carried on scheduled services by registered airlines, are: Asia-Pacific 36.3 per cent market share (1.5 billion passengers, an increase of 10.6 per cent compared to the region’s passengers in 2016). Europe had 26.3 per cent market share (1.1 billion passengers, up 8.2 per cent over 2016), and North America 23 per cent market share (941.8 million, up 3.2 per cent over 2016).

Others are: Latin America seven per cent market share (286.1 million, up 4.1 per cent over 2016); Middle East 5.3 per cent market share (216.1 million, an increase of 4.6 per cent over 2016); and Africa 2.2 per cent market share (88.5 million, up 6.6 per cent over 2016).

The top five airlines ranked by total scheduled passenger kilometres flown, were: American Airlines (324 million); Delta Air Lines (316.3 million); United Airlines (311 million); Emirates Airline (289 million) and Southwest Airlines (207.7 million).


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