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Air transportation - statistics & facts

As the global economy is becoming more and more connected, the aviation industry is one of the fastest transportation sectors. The aviation industry provides a total of 87.7 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. Air transportation also plays an important role for tourism, contributing to economic growth, especially in developing countries.

Challenging times

The aviation industry was among the industries most hit by the coronavirus pandemic, as governments around the world restricted non-essential trips to limit the spread of the virus. The pandemic erased two decades of growth in only a couple of months. The reduced passenger demand led to a drastic decrease in passenger traffic, less flights performed, and airlines and airports reporting huge losses.

Facilitating global trade during the pandemic

Air transport also provides entrance to international markets and assists in the progress of world trade. Since the coronavirus pandemic began, air cargo has been crucial in delivering critical products like face masks, medical gowns, medical gloves, ventilators, and vaccines. Some 66.2 million metric tons of cargo was carried by air in 2021, generating 175 billion U.S. dollars in revenue.

The return of passengers will put pressure on infrastructure

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. Over the next two decades, airports will need to spend a little over 2.4 trillion U.S. dollars in infrastructure, with Asia Pacific accounting for most of the capital expenditure, following the region’s forecasted passenger growth.

Interesting statistics

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


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