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Asia Pacific seen to drive global growth in travel

/ 03:30 AM October 25, 2014

Cheaper ticket prices and a booming global population will drive growth in the air passenger sector through 2034, with Asia Pacific seen to account for almost half of worldwide traffic through that period, the International Air Transport Association, or IATA, said in a report.

IATA, in its first 20-year passenger growth forecast, said Asia Pacific as a whole will see an extra 1.8 billion passengers annually, increasing its market size to about 2.9 billion passengers.

That would account for 42 percent of global passenger traffic, with its 4.9-percent annual growth rate the highest alongside the Middle East, IATA said.

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It noted that some areas would grow faster than others, like Indonesia, which will be among the top 10 biggest air passenger markets in 2020, and is estimated to be the 6th biggest by 2029.

Overall, global air passenger number are forecast to hit 7.3 billion by 2034, or a 4.1 percent annual growth rate, from the current 3.3 billion passengers expected to travel by air this year.

IATA said by the end of the 20-year period, the aviation sector would be valued at about $6 trillion of gross domestic product, supporting around 105 million jobs.

The industry currently accounts for $2.4 trillion in terms of economic activity and provides support for 58 million jobs.

“It is an exciting prospect to think that in the next 20 years more than twice as many passengers as today will have the chance to fly. Air connectivity on this scale will help transform economic opportunities for millions of people,” Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO, said in the statement.

The IATA report also highlighted expectations that China would overtake the United States as world’s largest passenger market by 2030.

It noted that both the United States and China would still lead other areas by a wide margin.

As noted, growing populations, improving living standards and price availability would help drive global air passenger travel.

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“People can only fly as long as ticket taxes don’t price them out of their seats. And air connectivity can only thrive when nations open their skies and their markets. It’s a virtuous circle,” IATA said.

IATA noted that air transport prices have been declined by a huge margin since the 1950s, although further declines in the past decade “have bottomed out” because of higher oil prices.

“In the coming two decades, the downward trend in the real cost of air travel is expected to resume, at a rate of around 1 to 1.5 perfect per year. Air connectivity is expected to increase with the addition of new longer-range mid-size aircraft,” IATA said.

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TAGS: Asia-Pacific, aviation, IATA, International Air Transport Association, kw: Business, Travel
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