17-Jul-2013 9:58 AM

IATA releases industry highlights for 2012

IATA released (16-Jul-2013) the 57th Edition of the World Air Transport Statistics (WATS) yearbook and provided the following snapshot of 2012 performance:

Passenger highlights:

  • Systemwide, airlines carried 2.977 billion passengers on scheduled services;
  • Developing economies continued to drive global demand growth: 65% of the growth in passenger numbers on international services in 2012 occurred on markets linked to emerging markets;
  • Premium travel segment slipped to 7% of total international travel in 2012, but yields for the segment were more robust than for the economy segment, and premium travel accounted for 27% of international passenger revenues;
  • Top countries by region (passengers carried);
  • Countries with high year-over-year increase in passenger growth included Indonesia (18.2%), Thailand (17.7%) and Turkey (16.7%).
  • Top five airlines by total scheduled passengers:
  • Top three international city-pairs:
  • The top three domestic city-pairs:
    • Jeju-Seoul (9.5 million);
    • Sapporo-Tokyo (8.8 million);
    • Fukuoka-Tokyo (7.6 million). 

Cargo highlights:

  • Air freight markets suffered another difficult year punctuated by shrinking demand, falling utilisation and lower yields.
  • Global freight tonne kilometers decreased by 1.1% compared to 2011 but still represented an estimated USD6.4 trillion of goods by value;
  • The top five airlines ranked by total scheduled freight tonnes:


  • Global commercial air transport consumed 73 billion US gallons of fuel at an estimated cost of USD209 billion, 33% of airline operating costs;
  • The rise in the price of jet fuel since 2010, to an average of USD130 per barrel in 2012, has added over USD60 billion to the industry's fuel bill.
  • IATA member airlines fuel efficiency improved by 18% during the 2001-2012 period from 45.0 to 36.8 liters per 100 revenue tonne kilometers. Fuel efficiency improved by 1.7% in 2012 compared to 2011.

Fleet and assets utilisation

  • 1374 jets and turboprop aircraft delivered in 2012, adding 7-8% to industry capacity. Less fuel-efficient aircraft were retired or put in storage resulting in a net fleet expansion of 500 aircraft. 
  • 24,911 aircraft were in commercial airline service at the end of 2012.

Airline Alliances: