The global aviation industry obtained a new record of serving 4.1 billion passengers on scheduled services in 2017 generating profit of around $60 billion according to International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
The statistics depict a 7.1 percent increase over 2016 as the global air traffic continued to escalate rapidly via budget carriers.
“The sustainability of the tremendous growth in international civil air traffic is demonstrated by the continuous improvements to its safety, security, efficiency and environmental footprint. This sustainability is the result of concerted efforts and cooperation at the national, regional, and global levels, particularly in terms of ICAO compliancy, which is key to accessing the global network,” said ICAO Council President Dr Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu.
The number of departures rose to approximately 37 million globally, and world passenger traffic, expressed in terms of total scheduled revenue passenger-kilometres (RPKs), posted an increase of 7.6 per cent with approximately 7.7 trillion RPKs performed. This growth is a slight improvement from the 7.4 per cent achieved in 2016.
International scheduled passenger traffic expressed in terms of RPKs grew by eight per cent in 2017, up from the 7.8 per cent recorded in 2016. All regions recorded stronger growth than in the previous year, with an exception of a slowdown in the Middle East due to a combination of factors such as the competitive environment – competing hubs and more point-to-point services, low oil prices and the impact of a strong US dollar.
14 percent RPK share was obtained by the Middle East and experienced a significant decline in growth from the 11.8 per cent observed in 2016 to 6.9 per cent in 2017. Europe remained as the largest international market with 37 per cent share of world international RPKs, and grew strongly by 8.1 per cent, supported by the improved economic conditions in the region.
Asia/Pacific had the second largest share with 29 per cent, and grew by 9.6 per cent, the second strongest growth among all regions. In terms of domestic scheduled air services, overall markets grew by seven per cent in 2017, an improvement from the 6.7 per cent growth recorded in 2016. Owing to the strong demand in India and China, especially the former with over 20 per cent growth, the Asia/Pacific region grew strongly by 10.6 per cent in 2017 while North America posted a slower pace compared to last year, at 3.8 per cent in 2017. Both regions were the world’s largest domestic markets with each accounting for around 41 per cent share of world domestic scheduled traffic, ICAO said.