(Singapore) - The industry consensus forecast released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) indicates that by 2014 there will be 3.3 billion air travelers, up by 800 million from the 2.5 billion in 2009. By 2014 international aviation will handle 38 million tonnes of air cargo, up 12.5 million tonnes from the 26 million tonnes carried in 2009.
China will be the biggest contributor of new travelers. Of the 800 million new travelers expected in 2014, 360 million (45%) will travel on Asia Pacific routes and of those 214 million will be associated with China (181 million domestic and 33 million international). The United States will remain the largest single country market for domestic passengers (671 million) and international passengers (215 million).
“Despite some regional differences, the forecast indicates that the world will continue to become more mobile. This creates enormous opportunities but also presents some challenges. In five years we need to be able to handle 800 million more passengers and 12.5 million more tonnes of international cargo. To realize the economic growth potential that this will bring, we will need even more efficient air traffic management, airport facilities and security programs. Industry and governments will be challenged to work together even more closely,” said Giovanni Bisignani, IATA’s Director General and CEO.
“The shadow of the global economic recession is expected to remain over parts of the industry for some time to come. 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,” said Bisignani.
International passenger numbers are expected to rise from 952 million in 2009 to 1.3 billion passengers in 2014. This 313 million traveler increase reflects a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.9%.
The fastest growing markets for international passenger traffic will be China (10.8%), the United Arab Emirates (10.2%), Vietnam (10.2%), Malaysia (10.1%) and Sri Lanka (9.5%).
By 2014, the top five countries for international travel measured by number of passengers will be the United States (at 215 million, an increase of 45 million), the United Kingdom (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).
Domestic passenger numbers are expected to rise from 1.5 billion in 2009 to over 2 billion in 2014. This 488 million passenger increase reflects a CAGR of 5.7%. China will record the highest CAGR of 13.9% and contribute an additional 181 million passengers. Other countries with double digit growth include Vietnam (10.9%), South Africa (10.6%), India (10.5%), and the Philippines (10.2%).
By 2014 the five largest markets for domestic passengers will be the United States (671 million), China (379 million), Japan (102 million), Brazil (90 million) and India (69 million).
Asia Pacific’s International passenger demand is expected to grow 7.6%. By 2014, China, Japan and Hong Kong will be the biggest international passenger markets in the region, with China being the largest international and domestic market in Asia. The region will see the highest growth rate for international freight at 9.8% with Hong Kong, Japan, China, South Korea, and Chinese Taipei comprising the region’s top five markets.
The Middle East is expected to have the fastest growth rate at 9.4%. The UAE, Kuwait, Jordon will be among the top 10 fastest growing countries, with the UAE ranked 7th for international passengers at 82.3 million. International freight demand will grow 8.1% as freight links to and via the region continue to develop. The UAE will lead the region, handling 2.7 million tonnes of cargo.
Europe: Europe will see international passenger demand growth of 4.7%.
North America will grow 4.9% for international passenger demand and 7.6% for international freight. The US will continue to be the largest international and domestic passenger market in the world, and is expected to remain the largest international freight market by some margin.
“The focus of the industry continues to shift eastward. By 2014, 1 billion people will travel by air in Asia Pacific. That’s 30% of the global total and a 4 percentage point increase from the 26% it represented in 2009. The same is true for cargo where Asia Pacific will account for 28% of global volumes,” said Bisignani.