Annual growth in global air traffic passenger demand
On a global scale, passenger air travel is expected to maintain positive growth rates up to 2030, despite a number of challenges faced by the industry: Airlines around the world are struggling with high jet fuel prices and sluggish economic growth. However, these difficult economic conditions are predicted to be offset by an increase in passenger figures, which in turn is projected to translate into improved financial performance of the airline sector. It is believed that the global aviation industry will reach close to 30 billion US dollars in profits in 2017, up from only 8.3 billion US dollars in 2011. Between 2016 and 2035, the number of airline passengers is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of almost five percent.
Low-cost carriers and regional airlines have revolutionized the airline business with the introduction of innovative low-fare business models. Notwithstanding the fact that airlines such as Easyjet and Ryanair have steadily eaten into the market share of major transportation companies. American Airlines remained the leading airline in terms of passenger kilometers flown in 2016, followed by Georgia-based Delta Air Lines , United/Continental and Emirates Airlines.
Aviation demand is set to be fuelled by the rising affluence of the middle classes in emerging markets. Consequently, the air traffic industry is forecast to grow most significantly in Africa, the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region. In 2016, the airports in Atlanta (IATA: ATL), Beijing (IATA: PEK) and Dubai (IATA: DXB) were ranked as the three major airports for passenger traffic.