The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released its first 20-year passenger growth forecast, projecting that passenger numbers are expected to reach 7.3 billion by 2034. That represents a 4.1% average annual growth in demand for air connectivity that will result in more than a doubling of the 3.3 billion passengers expected to travel this year.
“It is an exciting prospect to think that in the next 20 years more than twice as many passengers as today will have the chance to fly. Air connectivity on this scale will help transform economic opportunities for millions of people. At present, aviation helps sustain 58 million jobs and $2.4 trillion in economic activity. In 20 years’ time we can expect aviation to be supporting around 105 million jobs and $6 trillion in GDP,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO.
Analysis of the 10 largest air passenger markets defined by traffic to, from and within for the period 2014-2034:
The United States will remain the largest air passenger market until around 2030, when it will drop to number 2, behind China. Cumulatively over the next 20 years the US will carry 18.3 billion more passengers and China 16.9 billion.
Currently the ninth largest market, India will see a total of 367 million passengers by 2034, an extra 266 million annual passengers compared to today. It will overtake the United Kingdom(148 million extra passengers, total market 337 million) to become the 3rd largest market around 2031.
Reflecting a declining and ageing population, Japanese air passenger numbers will grow just 1.3% per year and decline from the 4th largest market in 2014 to the 9th largest by 2033.
Germany and Spain will decline from 5th and 6th position in 2014 to be the 8th and 7th largest markets respectively. France will fall from 7th to 10th while Italy will fall out of the top 10 altogether in around 2019.
Brazil will increase passenger numbers by 170 million and rise from 10th to 5th. Its total market will be 272 million passengers.
Indonesia will enter the top ten around 2020 and attain 6th place by 2029. By 2034 it will be a market of 270 million passengers.
The markets by 2034: China, US, India, UK, Brazil, Indonesia, Germany, Spain, Japan, France
“After a century of growth that has taken us from 1 passenger to 3.3 billion passengers this year, air transport is set to generate even more economic growth, employment, cultural and educational opportunities. The first century of air travel has seen about 65 billion passengers take to the sky. The next 65 billion will fly in just the next 20 years,” added Tyler.