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IATA predicts 3.6 billion global airline passengers by 2016

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11th December 2012

A pax aircraft flying low over an airport against an orange sky

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has just released its latest industry traffic forecast showing that airlines around the world expect to welcome some 3.6 billion passengers in 2016 (about 800 million more than the 2.8 billion passengers carried by airlines in 2011).

Africa is one of the key regions set for growth – with passenger traffic expected to increase 6.8% CAGR. In comparison, Europe is set to grow just 2.2% CAGR in the same period.

These numbers help to explain why many investors see emerging markets like Africa as the future. For example, only last month Fastjet successfully launched and completed its first commercial flights – with ambitious plans to build Africa’s first pan-continental low-cost airline.

In line with recent industry forecasts by Boeing and Airbus, IATA also forecasts that the Asia-Pacific region will represent one of the fastest growth markets. Traffic within the Asia-Pacific region will represent 33% of global passengers in 2016, up from 29% in 2011.

IATA says that in 2016 the top five countries for international air travel measured by number of passengers will be the United States (at 223.1 million, an increase of 42.1 million), the United Kingdom (at 200.8 million, 32.8 million new passengers), Germany (at 172.9 million, +28.2 million), Spain (134.6 million, +21.6 million), and France (123.1 million, +23.4 million).

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