According to its 62nd World Air Transport Statistics Report, the International Airport Transport Association (IATA) has found that 2017 saw a 7.3-per-cent-rise in the number of air travellers compared to the previous year, a total of 4.1 billion passengers.
Further findings from the report were that airlines from the Asia-Pacific region had the lions-share of passengers, carrying 36.3 per cent of the total number, growing by 10.6 per cent in comparison to 2016. European airlines came second with 26.3 per cent of total passengers, and North America with 23 per cent.
It seems however that many of the Asia-Pacific travellers were traveling to other destinations within the region, if not their own country, with the top five of both international/regional passenger airport-pairs category and domestic passenger airport-pairs category being dominated by Asia-Pacific airports. Passengers moved most frequently between Hong Kong airport and Taipei Taoyuan, with 5.4 million making the trip, whilst 13.5 million flew internally from Jeju, South Korea, to Seoul airport.
US airlines flew more passengers the furthest though, with American Airlines, Delta Ai Lines and United airlines ranking highest for total scheduled passenger kilometres flown. Although Dubai-based airline Emirates came fourth, it was another US-based airline, Southwest that rounded off the top five.
More US citizens decided to hop on a flight as well, with 18.6 per cent of all passengers being a US citizen. China citizens also made up a large quantity of those travelling, making up 16.3 per cent, whilst India came third with 4.7 per cent.
In 2000, the average citizen flew just once every 43 months. In 2017, the figure was once every 22 months. Flying has never been more accessible. And this is liberating people to explore more of our planet for work, leisure and education. Aviation is the business of freedom,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.