Aviation’s ‘global impact’ at $2.4tr

By Charlotte Turner |

As recorded in IATA’s 58th edition of the World Air Transport Statistics (WATS), last year, the industry carried more than 3bn passengers and nearly 48m tonnes of cargo on nearly 100,000 flights per day, while the real price of air travel fell by 7.4%.


According to IATA, aviation’s annual contribution exceeds even these impressive figures. Its global economic impact is estimated at $2.4 trillion and it supports 3.4% of global GDP. “By value, over a third of goods traded internationally are delivered by air and some 58.1m jobs are supported by aviation,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO.


System-wide, airlines carried 3.129bn passengers on scheduled services, an increase of 5.1% over 2012. Airlines in the Asia-Pacific region carried the largest number of passengers of any region.


The regional ranking (based on total passengers carried on scheduled services by airlines registered in that region) is:


  • Asia-Pacific (1.012 billion passengers, an increase of 9.3%)
  • Europe (825.9 million passengers, up 3.4% over 2012)
  • North America (818.9 million, up 0.7% over 2012)
  • Latin America and the Caribbean (240.5 million, up 7.6% )
  • Middle East (157.9 million, an increase of 8.8%)
  • Africa (73.8 million, 5.6% up over 2012).


The top countries by region based on passengers carried (total both-ways, international and domestic) were:


Africa – South Africa (20.4m, a decline of 0.1% compared to 2012); Asia-Pacific – People’s Republic of China (404.2m, an increase of 11.8%); Europe – United Kingdom (177.9m, up 3.7% over 2012); Latin America and Caribbean – Brazil (92.9m, an increase of 4.5% over 2012; Middle East – United Arab Emirates (45.3m, an increase of 11.7%); North America – United States (618.1m, an increase of 3.3% over 2012.)


The United States is still the largest single air market in the world, in terms of total two-way traffic, international and domestic. The top five airlines ranked by total scheduled passengers carried were:


Delta Air Lines (120.6m); Southwest Airlines (115.3m); China Southern Airlines (91.5m); United Airlines (90.2m) and American Airlines (86.8m).


The top three city-pairs based on passengers carried on international routes were: Hong Kong-Chinese Taipei (4.9m, down 11.5%); Dublin-London (3.6m, up 6.9%); Jakarta-Singapore (3.4m, up 8.6%)


Star Alliance maintained its position as the largest airline alliance in 2013 with 26.6% of total scheduled traffic (in revenue passenger kilometers), followed by SkyTeam (20.1%) and oneworld (15.4%).

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