World Aviation and the World Economy
The air transport industry is not only a vital engine of global socio-economic growth but is also of vital importance as a catalyst for economic development, creating direct and indirect employment, supporting tourism and local businesses, and stimulating foreign investment and international trade.
Since 1995, the world economy, measured in terms of gross domestic product (GDP), grew at 2.8 per cent annually while the world passenger air traffic (expressed in Revenue Passenger-Kilometres) increased at an average annual growth rate of 5.0 per cent.
During the past 15 years particularly, the development of civil aviation has been broadly impacted by several crises directly or indirectly related to aviation. The Asian crisis in 1998, the U.S. terrorist attack on 11 September 2001, the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak in 2003, and the 2008-2009 world financial crises have all been detrimental to the overall profitability of the air transport system.
History has showed, however, that world aviation recovers from crisis:
the stake is not to know if the traffic will recover, but when it will recover.
Economic growth, technological change, market liberalization, the growth of low cost carriers, airport congestion, oil prices and other trends will continue to affect commercial aviation throughout the world.