February 03, 2010 09:58
The Asia-Pacific region has emerged as the world's largest passenger market in aviation on the back of its fast recovery from the global recession.
The International Air Transport Association said at the Singapore Airshow on Monday that Asia-Pacific air passengers numbered 647 million last year, surpassing North America's 638 million and Europe's 601 million. In the statistics the Asia-Pacific region does not include the Middle East.
Global passenger numbers declined 3.5 percent in 2009 from a year earlier amid the financial crisis, according to IATA. But in China passenger numbers soared by 19.7 percent on-year, leading to the expansion of the overall Asian market.
The number of passenger aircraft in China increased almost three-fold over the past decade from 480 in 1999 to 1,400 last year. In 2009 an average of 5.7 million Chinese people flew on domestic flights per week, and 1.4 million on international flights. In other words, of its 1.3 billion population, three out of every 10 Chinese people traveled by air.
India averaged one flight for every 10 of its 1.1 billion population last year, while the U.S. averaged three flights for every one of its 300 million people.
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