KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 19): Some 3.2 billion passengers used air transport for their business and tourism needs in 2014, according to preliminary figures on scheduled services released Thursday by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
It said the annual total passengers was up approximately 5% compared to 2013 and is expected to reach over 6.4 billion by 2030, based on current projections.
ICAO said aircraft departures reached 33 million globally during 2014, establishing a new record and surpassing the 2013 figure by roughly one million flights.
It said solid global economic growth and improving world trade helped world scheduled passenger traffic grow at a rate of 5.9% in 2014 (expressed in terms of revenue passenger-kilometres or RPKs), compared to 5.5% in 2013.
The ICAO said the Asia/Pacific region was the world’s largest air travel market in 2014, with a 31% share in terms of world RPKs.
“The second and third largest air travel markets were Europe and North America, representing 27% and 25%, respectively.
“The Middle East Region, accounting for 9% of world RPKs, recorded the fastest growth rate at 12.8%. The Latin America and Caribbean Region increased by a solid 5.9% while African growth registered in at 1.5%,” it said.