Once again this year, and despite the exceptional circumstances faced by the aviation industry, the reported data by ICAO Member States presented in the
Annual Report of the Council achieved the exceptional level of 98 per cent of global coverage. It is important to note that ICAO official statistics present the highest level of reporting coverage compared to any other source of global aviation data. It shows once again the trust the Member States have in official reporting and their confidence in ICAO data.
More details about ICAO aviation data and products:
According to ICAO’s preliminary compilation of annual global statistics, the total number of passengers carried on scheduled services increased to 2.3 billion in 2021, which is 28.1 per cent higher than the previous year, with the number of departures increasing to 24.2 million in 2021, a 19.2 per cent increase. Detailed air transport statistics appear on the Presentation of 2021 Air Transport Statistical Results page.
The sum of the individual regions may not match the totals due to rounding.
Total increase: 22.4 per cent, equating to 3 626 billion RPKs
More comprehensive air transport data are available at:
International scheduled passenger traffic
Total increase: 1.0 per cent in RPKs
Domestic scheduled passenger traffic
Total increase: 39.8 per cent in RPKs
Available seat-kilometres (ASK) capacity
Total increase: 18.0 per cent, passenger load factor of 67.7 per cent
Total millions of tonnes carried: 56.5
Increase of scheduled total freight traffic, expressed in terms of scheduled total freight tonne-kilometres performed (FTKs): 20.1 per cent
Scheduled international freight capacity in 2021, expressed in available freight tonne-kilometres, was approximately 308 billion, an increase of 10.0 per cent compared to 2020. The scheduled international freight load factor increased to 65.1 per cent.
Operating profit of scheduled airlines of Member States
Estimated at about a negative 7.7 per cent of operating revenues, operating loss is expected to be around USD 39.0 billion in 2021 based on operating revenues of USD 509 billion.
A detailed variance analysis of changes in operating profits appears in the Presentation of 2021 Air Transport Statistical Results, Table 9.
Long-term air traffic forecasts
The post-COVID long-term forecasts developed by the Secretariat and the Multi-Disciplinary Working Group on Long-term Traffic Forecasts revolve around three scenarios (low, mid and high). In the mid scenario, the passenger traffic expressed in revenue passenger-kilometers is expected to grow 3.3 per cent annually in the next 20 years.
The world’s major manufacturers delivered 951 new commercial aircraft in 2021 and recorded 1 042 new aircraft net orders. Book-to-bill ratios for two of the largest aircraft manufacturers decreased to around 1.10 in 2021 from 0.63 in the previous year.
There were 48 aircraft accidents for scheduled commercial air transport operations in 2021, unchanged from the 48 accidents reported by states in 2020. This is according to an analysis of global accident data involving commercial air transport aircraft with a maximum certificated take-off mass of more than 5 700 kilograms. The number of fatalities in scheduled operations worldwide stood at 104, resulting from four fatal accidents. The global accident rate was 1.93 accidents per million scheduled departures, versus 2.14 accidents per million scheduled departures in 2020.
42 acts of unlawful interference were recorded. These included:
4 attacks on aircraft in flight
9 attacks on airports or other aviation facility
0 attacks using aircraft as a weapon
5 cyber-attacks endangering aviation safety
9 unlawful seizures of aircraft
and 15 other attacks.
Details concerning all 2021 events are available in the Acts of Unlawful Interference Database, which is accessible through ICAO’s secure website.