Medium-Term Passenger Traffic Forecasts


World Air Transport in 2012
(preliminary figures)

Some 3.0 billion people used air transport to help them realize their business and tourism needs in 2012. The annual passenger figure is up 4.7 per cent since 2011.
Total scheduled passenger traffic grew at a rate of 4.9 per cent in terms of Revenue Passenger-Kilometres (RPK) in 2012, a 1.7 percentage point decrease compared to last year’s growth rate. This is a reflection of positive economic results worldwide, despite slow economic growth in some regions and the implementation of fiscal austerity policies in key European economies.
The Asia/Pacific region was the world’s largest air transport market in 2012, with a 30 per cent share in terms of world RPKs. The Middle East region, accounting for 8 per cent of the world RPKs, recorded the fastest growth rate at 13.7 per cent in 2012 compared to 2011.

World Passenger Traffic Forecasts

Medium term vision
Global traffic expected to increase by 4.8, 5.9 and 6.3 per cent in 2013, 2014 and 2015 respectively. Click here to view medium-term forecast tables.
According to IHS/Global Insight, a major economic forecasting organization, world Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) in real terms will grow at 3.2 per cent during 2013, up from 3.1 per cent last year.  In the first half of 2013, the European Union (EU) remained mired in recession, while most other key economies grew at lower-than expected rates. Results for the second half of the year should improve, given the impressive resilience of the U.S. economy, the economic recovery in Japan, and the stabilization of Eurozone financial markets.
Despite regional turmoil and a pessimistic short-term economic outlook, the Middle East should remain the fastest growing region in terms of PKPs, with a 10.2 per cent increase over 2012. This forecast is based on the strong performance of its largest air carriers in gaining market share on international routes outside of the Region.
The highest growth is expected in the Latin America/Caribbean, Asia/Pacific and Africa Regions, with 7.6, 5.5 and 5.2 growth rate in 2013, respectively. Scheduled passenger air traffic in Europe and North America should increase by 4.4 and 2.3 per cent in 2013, respectively, leading to a slightly higher share of global traffic for European carriers than for North American operators. The Asia/Pacific will remain the largest market.
Current expectations of a 4.2 per cent annual GDP at PPP growth rate for the world economy over 2014–2015 should translate into world air traffic growth 5.9 and 6.3 per cent, respectively.