The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced industry performance statistics for 2017. Worldwide annual air passenger numbers exceeded four billion for the first time, supported by a broad-based improvement in global economic conditions and lower average airfares. 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. 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.
“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,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.
*City pairs are counted unidirectionally and only for aircraft with more than 19 seats and at least one flight frequency on average per week. Connectivity can also be calculated by routes which now total more than 55,000. Routes are based on airport (not city) pairs and are counted bi-directionally, regardless of aircraft size and flight frequency.