The industry consensus forecast released by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) indicates that by 2014 there will be 3.3 billion air travelers, up by 800 million from the 2.5 billion in 2009. By 2014 international aviation will handle 38 million tons of air cargo, up 12.5 million tons from the 26 million tons carried in 2009.
China will be the biggest contributor of new travelers. Of the 800 million new travelers expected in 2014, 360 million (45 percent) will travel on Asia Pacific routes and of those 214 million will be associated with China (181 million domestic and 33 million international). The United States will remain the largest single country market for domestic passengers (671 million) and international passengers (215 million).
International freight volumes are expected to grow at a CAGR of 8.2 percent over the forecast period. Excluding the impact of the rapid post-recession rebound in 2010, for the 2011-2014 period, the consensus view for airfreight is that it will stabilize at 5 percent CAGR. This is slightly below the forecast growth in world trade (6 percent) suggesting a still conservative outlook after the recession shock and possibly some loss of market share to sea shipping.
The top five fastest-growing international freight markets over 2009-2014 will be Hong Kong (12.3 percent), China (11.7 percent), Vietnam (11.4 percent), Chinese Taipei (11.3 percent), Russian Federation (11.0 percent).
By 2014, the largest international freight markets will be the U.S. (8.8 million tons), Hong Kong (5.4 million tons), Germany (4.4 million tons), Japan (4.4 million tons) and China (3.8 million tons).
The volume growth expected in China and Hong Kong will account for a third of global volume growth over the period to 2014.
"Despite some regional differences, the forecast indicates that the world will continue to become more mobile," said Giovanni Bisignani, IATA's director general and CEO. "This creates enormous opportunities but also presents some challenges. In five years, we need to be able to handle 800 million more passengers and 12.5 million more tons of international cargo. To realize the economic growth potential that this will bring, we will need even more efficient air traffic management, airport facilities and security programs. Industry and governments will be challenged to work together even more closely.
"The shadow of the global economic recession is expected to remain over parts of the industry for some time to come. Sluggish growth rates in Europe and North America are not only the result of being mature markets. Lingering consumer debts, high unemployment and austerity measures will dampen growth rates," said Bisignani.
International passenger numbers are expected to rise from 952 million in 2009 to 1.3 billion passengers in 2014. This 313-million-traveler increase reflects a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.9 percent.
The fastest-growing markets for international passenger traffic will be China (10.8 percent), the United Arab Emirates (10.2 percent), Vietnam (10.2 percent), Malaysia (10.1 percent) and Sri Lanka (9.5 percent).
By 2014, the top five countries for international travel measured by number of passengers will be the United States (at 215 million, an increase of 45 million), the United Kingdom (at 198 million with an increase of 33 million), Germany (at 163 million with an increase of 29 million), Spain (123 million with an increase of 21 million), and France (111 million with an increase of 21 million).
Domestic passenger numbers are expected to rise from 1.5 billion in 2009 to over 2 billion in 2014. This 488-million-passenger increase reflects a CAGR of 5.7 percent.
China will record the highest CAGR of 13.9 percent and contribute an additional 181 million passengers. Other countries with double-digit growth include Vietnam (10.9 percent), South Africa (10.6 percent), India (10.5 percent), and the Philippines (10.2 percent).
By 2014 the five largest markets for domestic passengers will be the United States (671 million), China (379 million), Japan (102 million), Brazil (90 million) and India (69 million).
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