The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has released the performance figures for global air travel (known as World Air Transport Statistics [WATS] ), showing that about 4.4 billion passengers were transported worldwide by airlines in 2018. IATA said the figure was a 6.9 per cent increase over the 2017 performance, representing additional 284 million trips by the airlines. In Africa, the IATA WATS indicated that 92 million passengers were carried by airlines in 2018.
IATA said the figure represents a 5.5 per cent increase over the 2017 performance and it also means that Africa controls about 2.1 per cent of the global air transport market share.
However, airlines in the Asia-Pacific region once again carried the largest number of passengers (1.6billion) on scheduled services systemwide, according to the IATA data.
The IATA data also revealed that the top five nationalities travelling are United Kingdom (126.2 million, or 8.6 per cent of all passengers in 2018); United States (111.5 million, or 7.6 per cent of all passengers); People’s Republic of China (97 million, or 6.6 per cent of all passengers); Germany (94.3 million, or 6.4 per cent of all passengers) and France (59.8 million, or 4.1 per cent of all passengers).
The data was released by IATA’s Director General and CEO, Mr. Alexandre de Juniac, who said the real cost of air transport has more than halved over the last 20 years (to around 78 US cents per revenue tonne-kilometer or RTK).
The data also stated that the top five international/regional passenger airports were all within the Asia-Pacific region again for 2018: Hong Kong – Taipei Taoyuan (5.4 million, down 0.4 per cent from 2017); Bangkok Suvarnabhumi-Hong Kong (3.4 million, increased 8.8 per cent from 2017); Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta-Singapore Changi (3.2 million, decreased 3.3 per cent from 2017); Seoul-Incheon-Osaka-Kansai (2.9 million, an increase of 16.5 per cent from 2017); and Kuala Lumpur-International-Singapore Changi (2.8 million, up 2.1 per cent from 2017).