Air transportation - Statistics & Facts

As the global economy is becoming more and more connected, the aviation industry is one of the fastest transportation sectors. Commercial airlines carried more than 4.5 billion passengers in 2019 and are expected to generate 581 billion U.S. dollars in global revenue in 2020. Air transportation also plays an important role for tourism, contributing to economic growth, especially in developing countries. The number of international tourist arrivals increased from 1.32 billion arrivals in 2017 to 1.4 billion in 2018; more than half of tourists chose to reach their destination by air transportation.

Air transport also provides entrance to international markets and assists in the progress of world trade. Some 61.2 million metric tons of cargo was carried by air in 2019, generating 102.3 billion U.S. dollars in revenue.

Contrary to road or rail transportation, the aviation industry has to pay for most of its own infrastructure and maintenance such as runways, terminals or air traffic control. In 2018, airports spent a little over 75 billion U.S. dollars in infrastructure with Asia Pacific accounting for the majority of new airport projects in the region.

The aviation industry provides a total of 65.5 million jobs worldwide. It directly generates employment opportunities within the airlines, air navigation services providers and airport operators and additionally creates jobs via the supply chain in the transportation of goods and services.

Interesting statistics

In the following 5 chapters, you will quickly find the 28 most important statistics relating to "Air transportation".

Air transportation worldwide

Dossier on the topic

All important statistics are prepared by our experts – available for direct download as PPT & PDF!

Important key figures

The most important key figures provide you with a compact summary of the topic of "Air transportation" and take you straight to the corresponding statistics.


Airline companies



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