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Airline passenger numbers are expected to grow by around one-third to 3.6 billion per year by 2016, according to a forecast by IATA.
The association said that this growth of 28.5 per cent between 2011 and 2016 would be fueled by the emerging economies of Asia-Pacific, Latin America and the Middle East, which are all forecast to see major passenger increases. There were 2.8 billion passengers globally in 2011.
IATA said that China is expected to account for 193 million (around 23 per cent) of the 831 million new airline passengers over the next few years.
Although the US will remain the single largest market for domestic traffic in the world with an estimated 710.2 million passengers despite China’s rapid growth. Meanwhile Europe is expected to see international passenger growth of 4.4 per cent per year up to 2016.
IATA’s CEO Tony Tyler said: “Despite the current economic uncertainty, expected demand for connectivity remains strong. That’s good news for the global economy. Growing air transport links generate jobs and underpin economic growth in all economies.
“But exploiting these will require governments to recognize aviation’s value with policies that do not stifle innovation, tax regimes that do not punish success and investments to enable infrastructure to keep up with growth.”