Commercial airline passenger numbers are forecast to double to 7 billion by 2034, says the International Air Transport Association, though the annual rate of growth at 3.8% is lower than originally forecast.

IATA had previously forecast 7.4 billion passengers by 2034 based on a 4.1% average annual growth rate.

“The revised result reflects negative developments in the global economy that are expected to dampen demand for air transport, especially slower economic growth projections for China,” IATA said.

It believes the five fastest-increasing markets in terms of additional passengers per year over the forecast period will be:

  • China (758 million new passengers for a total of 1.196 billion)
  • United States (523 million new passengers for a total of 1.156 billion)
  • India (275 million new passengers for a total of 378 million)
  • Indonesia (132 million new passengers for a total of 219 million)
  • Brazil (104 million new passengers for a total of 202 million

Seven of the ten fastest-growing markets in percentage terms will be in Africa, IATA said.

“The top ten will be: Malawi, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Central African Republic, Serbia, Tanzania, Uganda, Papua New Guinea, Ethiopia and Vietnam.

“Each of these markets is expected to grow by 7-8% each year on average over the next 20 years, doubling in size each decade.

“In terms of routes, Asian, South American and African destinations will see the fastest growth, reflecting economic and demographic growth in those markets.

“Indonesia-East Timor will be the fastest growing route, at 13.9%, followed by India-Hong Kong (10.4%), Within Honduras (10.3%), Within Pakistan (9.9%) and UAE-Ethiopia (9.5%).”

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