Global air passengers exceed 4 billion in 2017, says IATA

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KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 7): Global annual air passenger numbers exceeded four billion for the first time in 2017, according to the Intermational Air Transport Association (IATA).

In a statement yesterday, IATA said the data was supported by a broad-based improvement in global economic conditions and lower average airfares.

It said at the same time, airlines connected a record number of cities worldwide, providing regular services to over 20,000 city pairs in 2017, more than double the level of 1995.

IATA said such increases in direct services improve the industry’s efficiency by cutting costs and saving time for both travelers and shippers alike.

This information is included in the recently released 62nd Edition of the World Air Transport Statistics (WATS), the yearbook of the airline industry’s performance.

IATA director general and CEO Alexandre de Juniac said in 2000, the average citizen flew just once every 43 months.

“In 2017, the figure was once every 22 months. 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,” he said.

IATA said the top five international/regional passenger airport-pairs were all within the Asia-Pacific region, with the Kuala Lumpur–Singapore pair coming in at number four.