The International Air Transport Association (IATA) expects 7.8 billion passengers to travel in 2036, a near doubling of the 4 billion air travelers expected to fly this year. The prediction is based on a 3.6% average Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) noted in the release of the latest update to the association’s 20-Year Air Passenger Forecast.
“All indicators lead to growing demand for global connectivity. The world needs to prepare for a doubling of passengers in the next 20 years. It’s fantastic news for innovation and prosperity, which is driven by air links. It is also a huge challenge for governments and industry to ensure we can successfully meet this essential demand,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.
The five fastest-growing markets in terms of annual additional passengers in 2036 compared to 2016 will be
China (921 million new passengers for a total of 1.5 billion); US (401 million new passengers for a total of 1.1 billion); India (337 million new passengers for a total of 478 million); Indonesia (235 million new passengers for a total of 355 million) and Turkey (119 million new passengers for a total of 196 million).
However, IATA said that many of the fastest-growing markets are achieving a compound growth rate of more than 7.2% per year, meaning their market will double in size each decade. Most of these markets are in Africa, including: Sierra Leone, Benin, Mali, Rwanda, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Senegal, Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, Tanzania, Malawi, Chad, Gambia and Mozambique.
Ultimately, IATA predicts that Africa will grow by 5.9%. By 2036 it will see an extra 274 million passengers a year for a total market of 400 million passengers.
For more on IATA’s 20 year forecast watch this video: