25-Oct-2018 6:44 AM

IATA: Air travel to grow at 3.5% p/a over next 20 years, passing 8bn pax by 2037

IATA released (24-Oct-2018) its updated 20 Year Air Passenger Forecast, projecting a 3.5% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the next 20 years, leading to a doubling in passenger numbers to 8.2 billion in 2037. The forecast shows that an increasing shift eastwards in the centre of gravity of the industry is behind the continued strong growth. IATA warned growth prospects for air transport, and the economic benefits driven by aviation, could be curtailed if protectionist measures are implemented by governments. Key forecast highlights include:

  • Fastest growing aviation markets in terms of annual additional origin-destination passengers from 2017 to 2037:
    • China: One billion new passengers for a total of 1.6 billion. China will displace the US as the world's largest aviation market in the mid 2020s. The rebalancing of China's economy towards consumption will support strong passenger demand over the long term;
    • US: 481 million new passengers for a total of 1.3 billion;
    • India: 414 million new passengers for a total of 572 million. India will take third place after the US, surpassing the UK around 2024;
    • Indonesia: 282 million new passengers for a total of 411 million. Indonesia is forecast to be a standout performer, climbing from the world's 10th largest aviation market in 2017 to the fourth largest by 2030;
    • Thailand: 116 million new passengers for a total of 214 million. Thailand is expected to enter the top 10 markets in 2030, replacing Italy which drops out of the ranking.
  • Regional growth to 2037:
    • Routes to, from and within the Asia Pacific will see an extra 2.35 billion p/a passengers by 2037, for a total market size of 3.9 billion passengers. Its CAGR of 4.8% is the highest, followed by Africa and the Middle East;
    • North American region will grow by a CAGR of 2.4% p/a and in 2037 will carry a total of 1.4 billion passengers, an additional 527 million passengers;
    • Europe will grow at a CAGR of 2.0%, and will see an additional 611 million passengers. The total market will be 1.9 billion passengers;
    • Latin American markets will grow by a CAGR of 3.6%, serving a total of 731 million passengers, an additional 371 million passengers p/a;
    • Middle East will grow strongly with a CAGR of 4.4% and will see an extra 290 million passengers on routes to, from and within the region by 2037. The total market size will be 501 million passengers;
    • Africa will grow by a CAGR of 4.6%. By 2037 it will see an extra 199 million passengers for a total market of 334 million passengers.

Mr de Juniac stated: "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". [more - original PR]

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