Worldwide air traffic grows at 4.6% in January 2018

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is reporting a worldwide growth of 4.6% in passenger travel in January 2018 compared to the year before. While that is a little slower than the month before, it’s due to calendar differences and continued strong growth is expected for the remainder of the year! IATA is expecting passenger travel to double by 2026!

IATA measures Revenue Passenger Kilometers (RPK) – or the amount of travel taken as well as the Available Seat Kilometers (ASK) – or the capacity made available for travelers by airlines. 
The fastest growing region for international travel in January 2018 was – to my surprise – Europe at 6.4% more travel, outpacing added capacity for higher resulting in higher load factors. Asia has been growing quickly for years and added 5.4% in travel and 6.6% in capacity. Asia already is the largest region for air travel with a share of 33.7%! Air traffic in the Middle East was almost flat.

When looking at domestic travel, the US is still the largest market by far with a share of 14.5% and growth of 3.4%. The Chinese market is the second largest with 9.1% share, growing at a fast 6.6%! While still a small market, India (share 1.4%) is growing the fastest at a blistering 17.9%! Growth at these rates puts a lot of strain on a countries infrastructure – it requires a lot of investment into airports, roads and trains, etc to get more and more passengers into the air safely!

As more people are wealthy enough and as air travel becomes more and more affordable, we can expect air traffic to keep growing. It does depend on open borders and free trade, so lets hope that politics don’t get into the way of people traveling, seeing the world and meeting other cultures!

The statistics are from the IATA press release, get more details here! If you’d like to get more travel related news or deals like this from around the world, please follow me on Twitter – I’m posting news daily, so you can stay up to date on the world of travel with my Twitter updates! Or, for a weekly update, sign up for my newsletter for a Sunday Summary!

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