The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has announced industry performance statistics for 2017 saying worldwide annual air passenger numbers exceeded four billion for the first time.
This information is included in the recently released 62nd Edition of the World Air Transport Statistics (WATS), the yearbook of the airline industry’s performance.
IATA said the unprecedented passenger traffic was made possible by a broad-based improvement in global economic conditions and lower average airfares.
At the same time, it said 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.
It said such increases in direct services improve the industry’s efficiency by cutting costs and saving time for both travelers and shippers alike.
“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,” said IATA’s director general and chief executive officer, Alexandre de Juniac Highlights of the 2017 airline industry performance: System-wide, 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 airlines registered in that region) 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 26.3 per cent market share, (1.1 billion passengers, up 8.2 per cent over 2016).
North America, 23 per cent market share (941.8 million, up 3.2 per cent over 2016).
Latin America, 7 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).
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 kilometers flown, were: American Airlines (324 billion), Delta Air Lines (316.3 billion),United Airlines (311 billion), Emirates Airline (289 billion) and Southwest Airlines (207.7 billion).