The International Air Transport Association has released the Airline Industry Forecast 2013-2017 showing that airlines expect to see a 31 per cent increase in passenger numbers between 2012 and 2017.
By 2017 total passenger numbers are expected to rise to 3.91 billion—an increase of 930 million passengers over the 2.98 billion carried in 2012.
The IATA Airline Industry Forecast 2013-2017 is a consensus outlook for system-wide passenger growth.
Demand is expected to expand by an average of 5.4 per cent compound annual growth rate between 2013 and 2017.
By comparison, global passenger growth expanded by 4.3% CAGR between 2008 and 2012, largely reflecting the negative impact of the 2008 global financial crisis and recession.
Of the new passengers, approximately 292 million will be carried on international routes and 638 million on domestic routes.
The emerging economies of the Middle East and Asia-Pacific will see the strongest international passenger growth with CAGR of 6.3 per cent and 5.7 per cent, followed by Africa and Latin America with CAGR of 5.3 per cent and 4.5 per cent.
Routes within or connected to China will be the single largest driver of growth, accounting for 24 per cent of new passengers during the forecast period.
Of the anticipated 227.4 million additional passengers, 195 million will be domestic and 32.4 million will be international.
The Asia-Pacific region (including China) is expected to add around 300 million additional passengers by the end of the current forecast horizon.
Of these, around 225 million or 75 per cent are expected to be domestic passengers.
With 677.8 million domestic passengers in 2017, the United States will continue to be the largest single market for domestic passengers, although it will add only 70 million passengers over the forecast period (2.2 per cent CAGR).
This reflects the market’s maturity.
China is firmly established in second place (487.9 million passengers in 2017, 10.2 per cent CAGR.).
The US also will reclaim the top spot from Germany for international passengers by the end of the forecast period.
Germany will add 27.2 million passengers to the 149.4 million in 2012 (3.4 per cent CAGR.), while the US will add 28.2 million international passengers, rising from 149.3 million in 2012 to 177.5 million (3.5 per cent CAGR) in 2017.
“The fact that the Asia-Pacific region - led by China - and the Middle East will deliver the strongest growth over the forecast period is not surprising.
“Governments in both areas recognize the value of the connectivity provided by aviation to drive global trade and development.
“Similar opportunities exist for developing regions in Africa and Latin America. To reap the benefit, governments in those regions will need to change their view of aviation from a luxury cash cow to a utilitarian powerful draft horse to pull the economy forward,” said Tony Tyler, IATA director general.
Globally, aviation supports some 57 million jobs and $2.2 trillion in economic activity.