According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), international aircraft capacity rose by 6.4% last year. Growth in aviation over the next two decades is expected to be dramatic. IATA predicts there will be 7.8 billion passengers travelling in the year 2036. This represents a doubling of travellers flying annually against current levels. To examine the key drivers of this predicted growth it is important to look East.
Again, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the Middle East has been top of the table in terms of air passenger traffic for the past five years. The region’s continuing significance as both a business and holiday hub are a key to this performance.
The Middle East has also been an area to watch in terms of technology and service investment. Middle East carriers have been pathfinders in in-flight connectivity. This is a boon, not only for operational advances through the ability to transfer aircraft data in real-time to centres on the ground, but also to the business and leisure passengers’ experience. Additionally, there has been a strong political will to ensure localisation of the Middle East aerospace sector to ensure that the local industry is fit and ready to service and develop world class aviation technology.
Asia-Pacific is expected to be one of the most important growth drivers for the aviation market going forward. By 2030 it is anticipated that air travel in Asia will be larger than America and Europe combined.
Looking at specific markets, IATA figures show that India’s domestic aviation market posted its 47th consecutive month of double-digit growth in July 2018 at 18.3%. China is also recording exceptional growth, with domestic revenue passenger kilometres showing a year on year increase of 14.8%.
In February 2018, Boeing Commercial Airplanes told CNBC that Asia-Pacific will account for 40% of the aviation market. Speaking at the Singapore Airshow, Boeing said of the Asia-Pacific market: “It’s our biggest market for single aisle airplanes, the biggest market for wide bodies, and the biggest market for freighters. So, this is the future of aviation”.
Key to this stellar growth being attained however is the development of the operational, financial and system development needed to support it. IATA identified airports in the region that require additional investment to meet the prediction and offered its own insight that failure to meet these investment needs would result in foregoing 23.8 million jobs and $399 billion in GDP.
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