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Despite stalled growth in China, Brazil and Russia, a wave of newly middle-class travelers from the BRICs and beyond will start visiting international destinations in the coming decades — dwarfing the numbers we’ve seen thus far.
The aviation industry has been growing at a steady rate for the past 30 years suggesting that market changes continually balance one another out and will continue to do so in the future.
Air travel demand has steadily increased about 5 percent a year for the past 30 years, including 2013.
In 2013, the growth of international markets, 5.4 percent, slightly outpaced growth of domestic market at 4.9 percent, according to the International Air Transport Association’s full-year report.
The overall growth was driven by emerging markets in the Middle East and Asia Pacific that made up for relatively slow growth in mature regions like Europe and North America.
“We saw healthy demand growth in 2013 despite the very difficult economic environment. There was a clear improvement trend over the course of the year which bodes well for 2014,” IATA’s CEO Tony Tyler said in a statement.
Growing Economies Drive Air Travel Demand
Middle East airlines reported a 12.1 percent increase in international and domestic air traffic last year.
Although this was the most growth of any region, it was a drop for the Middle East which had reported growth of 15.4 increase in 2012.
Latin America reported the second strongest performance with an 8.1 percent increase in demand. The strength and growth of economies in both regions led to the significant bump in air travel demand.
Although North American reported the slowest growth, it was an improvement over 2012 growth of 1.3 percent.
The opposite is true for European airlines which reported the second slowest growth of any region and a drop from 2012 growth of 5.3 percent.