10 SEPTEMBER 2018
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Worldwide annual air passenger numbers exceeded 4bn for the first time last year, supported by a broad-based improvement in global economic conditions and lower average airfares, IATA reported last week.
At the same time, IATA’s annual survey of industry statistics showed airlines connected a record number of cities worldwide, providing regular services to more than 20,000 city pairs, more than double the level of 1995.
Such increases in direct services improve the industry’s efficiency by cutting costs and saving time for both travellers and shippers alike, the report said.
The 62nd edition of IATA’s World Air Transport Statistics (WATS), also noted that In 2000, the average citizen flew just once every 43 months. In 2017, the figure was once every 22 months.
IATA director-general and CEO Alexandre de Juniac said: “Flying has never been more accessible. And this is liberating people to explore more of our planet for work, leisure and education. Aviation is the business of freedom.”
Headline figures for the 2017 report show airlines system-wide carried 4.1bn passengers on scheduled services, an increase of 7.3% over 2016, representing an additional 280m trips by air.
The top five airlines by total scheduled passenger km flown, were American (324m), Delta (316.3m), United (311m), Emirates (289m) and Southwest Airlines (207.7m).
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