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November 06, 2018

Developing economies to account for most airline traffic by 2040

By the year 2040, emerging and developing economies will account for more than 60% of all passenger traffic, according to the latest edition of the World Airport Traffic Forecasts published by Airports Council International (ACI).

Global traffic surpassed the 8.2 billion passenger mark in 2017 and the forecast projects that it is expected to double by 2034 based on a projected growth rate of 4.3% per annum. Over the long term, it is projected to grow at an annualized rate of 4.1%, reaching 20.9 billion by 2040.

Over this timeframe, China is predicted to become the largest passenger market with just under four billion passengers which will represent a 19% share of the global passenger traffic market. A number of other emerging economies are projected to rise in the rankings including Indonesia, Turkey and Vietnam.

By 2040, an estimated 20% of all air cargo will be handled in the US. China and the United Arab Emirates, predicted to be the second and third largest markets, will together handle another fifth of the 203.4 million tonnes of global air cargo volumes. In the short term, however, while there was strong growth in air cargo volumes in 2017, it is unlikely that 2018 will repeat 2017's growth rates, given the adverse headwinds in trade relations and heightened geopolitical tensions that have played out this year.

The ACI forecast comprises traffic forecasts for more than 110 countries and presents detailed metrics which include total passengers (broken down into international and domestic traffic), total air cargo, and total aircraft movements up to 2040.

Source: ACI