ICAO forecasts more than 6% annual passenger growth through 2016

World scheduled air passenger traffic grew by 5.5 per cent in 2013, reaching 5.8 trillion passenger-kilometres performed (PKP) and is expected to increase by 6.0, 6.3 and 6.5 per cent in 2014, 2015 and 2016, respectively, according to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

The 5.5 per cent growth in PKP (international and domestic services combined) recorded in 2013 by airlines of the 191 Member States of ICAO was higher than the 5.3 per cent increase posted in 2012. The number of passengers grew by some 4.5 per cent to 3.1 billion, while departures were up 1.2 per cent to 32 million globally.

World scheduled air freight traffic expressed in freight tonne-kilometres performed (FTK) grew by 0.4 per cent in 2013, and is expected to increase by 3.7, 4.2, and 4.4 per cent in 2014, 2015, and 2016, respectively.

Short- and Medium-term Passenger Traffic Forecasts

ICAO expects global scheduled air passenger traffic, in terms of PKP, to grow by 6.0 per cent in 2014, a slight upturn from the 5.5 per cent growth rate recorded in 2013. According to IHS/Global Insight, a major economic forecasting organization, world Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in real terms will grow by 2.9 per cent in 2014, up from 2.5 per cent last year.

The Middle East is expected to remain the fastest growing region in terms of PKP, with an estimated growth rate of 11.6 per cent in 2014. Strong expansion of the network of air carriers in the region will support this double-digit traffic growth.

Latin America and Caribbean passenger traffic will benefit from the FIFA World Cup in Brazil, with an estimated growth rate of 8.9 per cent in 2014.

Passenger traffic in the Asia and Pacific Region is also expected to continue its steady growth, at an estimated rate of 7.2 per cent in 2014. Its growth was impacted by the slowdown of the Chinese economy in the first half of the year but there is indication that the deceleration of the Chinese economy is now coming to an end.

European passenger traffic is expected to grow by 5.4 per cent in 2014. Its general economy has shown steady improvement in the first half of the year and the recovery trend is expected to continue in the coming months. African passenger traffic is expected to grow by 4.8 per cent in 2014 in line with its steady economic growth.

North American passenger traffic should grow by 2.7 per cent this year, in light of the fact that economic activity in the United States has rebounded and the employment rate has increased.

Current expectations of 3.5 (2015) and 3.7 (2016) per cent annual world GDP growth rates should support world passenger traffic growth of 6.3 and 6.5, respectively over the next two years.

Passenger Traffic Forecasts 2016