China will be the biggest single contributor to this growth, IATA predicts
An industry forecast released this week shows that there will be 3.3 billion air travellers by 2014, an increase of 800 million from the 2.5 billion in 2009.
By 2014, the International Air Transport Association predicts in the forecast, international aviation will handle 38 million tonnes of air cargo, up from the 26 million tonnes carried in 2009.
China will be the biggest contributor of new travellers. Of the 800 million new passengers expected in 2014, 360 million (45%) will travel on Asia Pacific routes and, of these, 214 million will be associated with China (181 million domestic and 33 million international).
Other fast growing markets include the UAE (10.2%), Vietnam (10.2%), Malaysia (10.1%) and Sri Lanka (9.5%).
The United States will remain the biggest single country market for domestic passengers (671 million) and international passengers (215 million). The US will be followed by the UK (at 198 million with an increase of 33 million), Germany (at 163 million with an increase of 29 million), Spain (123 million with an increase of 21 million) and France (111 million with an increase of 21 million).
“To realise the economic growth potential that this will bring, we will need even more efficient air traffic management, airport facilities and security programs,” said Giovanni Bisignani, IATA’s director general and CEO. “Industry and governments will be challenged to work together even more closely.”
He added, however, that “sluggish growth rates in Europe and North America are not only the result of being mature markets. Lingering consumer debts, high unemployment and austerity measures will dampen growth rates.”