Global Air Travel escalates with more than 7% increase compared to last year

Posted on by Suman Karki

2017 Edition of International Air Transport Association (IATA) World Air Transport Statistics for 2016 has shown the airlines carried 3.8 billion passengers on scheduled services last year with an increase of 7% over 2015. This statistics represent an additional 242 million air trips.

In case of passengers, airlines in the Asia-Pacific region carried the largest number of passengers. Asia-Pacific region had 35% market share (1.3 billion, an increase of 11.3% compared to 2015) followed by:

  • Europe-26% market share (992.4 million, up 6.1% over 2015)
  • North America 24% market share (911.5 million, up 3% over 2015)
  • Latin America 7% market share (275.1 million, up 1.8% from 2015)
  • Middle East 5% market share (206.1 million, an increase of 9.1% over 2015)
  • Africa 2% market share (84 million, up 6% over 2015)

Southwest Airlines who carried 151.8 million passengers has been ranked first in terms of total scheduled passengers carried (domestic and international). Likewise, American Airlines stood second after carrying a total of 144.2 million passengers followed by Delta Air Lines (143.3 million), China Southern Airlines (114.5 million) and Ryanair (112 million).

The top five international/regional passenger airport-pairs were almost the same as they were in 2015, and all were within the Asia-Pacific region:

  • Hong Kong-Taipei (5.2 million, up 2.1% from 2015)
  • Jakarta-Singapore (3.4 million, up 0.9% from 2015)
  • Bangkok Suvarnabhumi-Hong Kong (3 million, a decrease of 3.14% from 2015)
  • Kuala Lumpur–Singapore (2.8 million, up 3.3% from 2015)
  • Hong Kong-Seoul (2.8 million, down 15% from 2015)

US Citizens are the world’s most frequent flyers with the fact that some 810 million passengers traveled on US passports in 2016 comprising 21% of passengers worldwide. American citizens were dominant internationally comprising 9.5% of all travelers followed by citizens of the UK (7.8%), Germany (6.5%), China (6.4%) and France (4.1%).

In case of domestic passenger traffic, once again US citizens were the frequent flyers at 29.9% followed by China (19%), India (5.2%), Indonesia (4.4%) and Japan (3.5%).

The top five airlines ranked by total freight tonnes carried on scheduled services were:

  • FedEx Express (7.1 million)
  • United Parcel Service (4.7 million)
  • Emirates Airline (2.5 million)
  • Qatar Airways (1.8 million)
  • Cathay Pacific Airways (1.6 million)

Passenger Traffic of Nepal’s only international airport TIA (Tribhuvan International Airport) has also rocketed this year. In 2016, Jet Airways flew 154, 119 passengers whereas in the first six months of this year it carried 227, 512 passengers (up 47.62%). Similarly, the flag carrier Nepal Airlines Corporation (NAC) carried 178, 799 passengers in 2016 and carried 210, 131 passengers on the first half of 2017 which is 17.52% increase. However, Qatar Airways which topped the list in 2016 saw the drop of 25.46% in the first half of 2017 followed by Etihad Airways (drop of 18.28%), Air Arabia (drop of 6.68%) and Oman Air (drop of 3.29%).

About the Author
Suman Karki

An Aviation Enthusiast working with Aviation Nepal.