58 pc of global air traffic from Asia-Pacific, Middle East by 2040

Global passenger numbers set to rise to 19 billion, says ACI report
/ New Delhi
58 pc of global air traffic from Asia-Pacific, Middle East by 2040

Global passenger numbers are forecast to rise from 9.2 billion in 2019 to about 19 billion in 2040

A new report about the growth of the global aviation industry in the next two decades forecasts that Asia Pacific and the Middle East are likely to account for 58 pc of the global passenger numbers by 2040, which are set to rise from 9.2 billion in 2019 to 19 billion.
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Air passenger demand is likely to double globally over the next 20 years, with Asia-Pacific and the Middle East accounting for 58 pc of the volume, according to the latest report by Airports Council International.

Global passenger numbers are forecast to rise from 9.2 billion in 2019 to about 19 billion in 2040, says ACI Asia-Pacific’s Airport Industry Outlook, a quarterly assessment of the airports’ performances.

Of this volume, Middle Eastern airports are expected to handle 1.1 billion passengers by 2040, a significant increase of nearly 300 pc of the combined traffic of 505 million they handled in 2019.

“The consistent improvement in passenger volumes in the region is a positive indication of a sustained recovery of the industry following prolonged efforts towards rebuilding passenger confidence in air travel,” says ACI Director General of ACI Asia-Pacific Stefano Baronci. He adds that the region must prepare itself for the oncoming influx.

He said restoring international connectivity will take longer and will be partly dependent on the decision of China to re-connect to the World.  “The macroeconomic headwinds, less acute in Asia than other western regions, should not hamper a process of growth, subject to continue to maintain the freedom to travel without restrictions. All the stakeholders engaged in the aviation ecosystem must prepare to the surge in traffic,” says the ACI director general.

The Middle East is an ideally located axis for travel — aircraft flying from the geographical crossroads can reach almost all of Asia, Africa, and Europe within eight hours.

Almost all countries in region have experienced massive growth in their tourist numbers and many have lined up ambitious projects to develop tourism further. But few programmes compare with those of Saudi Arabia, which is in the midst of implementation of USD 1 trillion in investments as part of Vision 2030 set out by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Tourism is one of the pillars of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, to contribute to diversifying the base of the national economy, attracting investments, increasing sources of income, and providing job opportunities for citizens, as the sector is witnessing rapid growth as a result of plans to promote the tourism sector.

Last month, a report by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation listed Saudi Arabia as top of the Group of 20 countries for the flow rating of international tourists in the first seven months of 2022.

The report, released during the G20 tourism ministers’ meeting held in Bali, Indonesia, did not detail the exact number of travellers who visited the Kingdom, but claimed the sector saw a growth rate of 121 pc in the first half of 2022.

During the event, Saudi Arabia’s Tourism Minister Ahmed Al-Khateeb said the surge in tourist inflow aligns with the Kingdom’s economic diversification policies and aims to increase tourism’s contribution to the country’s gross domestic product, as outlined in Vision 2030, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

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