Global air travel demand rises 7% to 3.8 bn passengers in 2016

Global air travel demand surged 7 percent last year to 3.8 billion passengers over 2015 with carriers from Asia-Pacific region accounting for more than one-thirds of the total market share, IATA said today.

As per the International Air Transport Association (IATA)’s World Air Transport Statistics (WATS) report for 2017, airlines across the world added 242 million more passengers last year, taking the total number to 3.8 billion as against 3.6 billion in 2015.

Significantly, India was the third largest market in terms of domestic passengers after the US and China, accounting for 5.2 percent in the total local traffic.

Airlines in the Asia-Pacific region carried the largest number of passengers at 1.3 billion, registering a growth of 11.3 percent over the year-ago period, it said.

The region was followed by Europe with 992.4 million, an increase of 6.1 percent market share cent, and North America with 911.5 million passengers, up 3 percent over 2015, IATA said.

As per the report, the new model airlines (NMAs), a classification that includes Low Cost Carriers (LCCs, accounted for 28.3 percent of all passengers in 2016, up from 27.1 percent of passengers in 2015.

Network carriers account for 69.5 percent of total passengers while leisure carriers[2] contributed 2.2 percent to passenger volumes.

Measured in revenue passenger kilometres (RPK), the report said NMAs accounted for 20 percent of global traffic, reflecting the concentration of this sector on short-haul flying.

By the same RPK measure, network carriers accounted for 77 percent of traffic with leisure carriers comprising 3 percent of the total traffic, it added.

Domestically, the US citizens were also the most prevalent travellers at 29.9 percent, followed by China (19 percent) and India (5.2 percent), according to the report.

The American citizens are the world’s most prevalent travellers with some 810 million passengers travelling on US passports in 2016, comprising 21 percent of the worldwide figures, it added.