Aviation sector eyes new record of 5 billion annual scheduled flights

Aviation sector eyes new record of 5 billion annual scheduled flights

Three years after pandemic, airline industry on track to surpass all previous revenue and passenger numbers

The airline industry has come a long way from where it was three years ago when it saw a 60% drop in passenger numbers and a 70% drop in revenue as a result of the pandemic. Now, global demand for flights is stronger than ever.

According to the latest International Air Transport Association (IATA) survey, the airline industry has not only fully recovered from the worst crisis in its history, but is on its way to reaching a new record in both revenue and scheduled flight numbers.

In addition, IATA data shows total air traffic matched and surpassed 2019 numbers in February 2024 and has continued growing ever since. 

With the global demand for flights rising, the total number of airline passengers is projected to reach almost 5 billion by the end of 2024, 400 million more annually than before the pandemic. 

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Asia-Pacific will see the highest growth in 2024. Statistics show the number of airline passengers in the region will jump by 17% year-on-year, with China and India driving growth. Europe is expected to see a solid 11% increase in its passenger numbers, and the Middle East, Latin America and North America follow with 9%, 8%, and 7% annual growth rates, respectively.

Besides achieving a record number of passengers, the airline industry will also generate more revenue than ever. According to its research, compiled by, the aviation industry is set to reach almost US$1 trillion in revenue in 2024, the highest figures this market has seen, representing a massive US$158 billion increase compared to 2019 figures.

With 2024 bringing a remarkable rebound in global airline traffic, the market projections for the following years became even more optimistic. IATA expects world airline passengers to grow by an average of 3.8% per year in the next two decades, resulting in over four billion new travellers by 2043.

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