Update on major economies driving Asia-Pacific passenger growth



Asia-Pacific contribution to global industry growth

Asia-Pacific will be the major contributor to the growth in air travel, as two-thirds of the growth in the next 20 years will be to or from countries in the Asia-Pacific region. According to the International Air Transport Association (or IATA), global air transport is expected to more than double.

Passenger numbers are projected to reach 7.3 billion by 2034 from their current level of 3.3 billion. The number of journeys is expected to rise from 2.8 billion to 6.1 billion by 2034. Half of the region’s growth will be led by China, which is expected to overtake the US as the world’s largest passenger market by 2030.

Part4_NOvAsia_country domestic passenger growth

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September growth

Growth highlights in September include:

  • Strong growth was recorded in the Asia-Pacific market in September. International traffic increased by 4.8%, slightly slower than 5.8% recorded in August.
  • Key economies, including China and India, drove growth. According to IATA, markets in China stabilized as supported by government fiscal stimulus, the 7.5% target growth expected earlier is unlikely to materialize due to the slowdown in its property market.
  • Domestic traffic in China increased at a strong rate of 8.6% in September, higher than 6.6% recorded in August.
  • Domestic air traffic growth in India was 26.3%, the highest among the BRIC (or Brazil, Russia, India, and China) nations.
  • Despite the slowdown in economic growth, air travel in Australia and Japan increased in September by 2.7% and 2%, respectively.

However, the Asia-Pacific market is affected by the negative impact of currency depreciation and weak cargo revenue for Chinese airlines. US Airlines, including Delta (DAL), American (AAL), JetBlue (JBLU), Southwest (LUV), and JetBlue (JBLU), recorded higher profitability.

Investors can invest in US airlines through ETFs such as the iShares Transportation Average ETF (IYT) and the SPDR S&P Transportation ETF (XTN).


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