Skift Take

As travel to and throughout Asia grows, the global hub of the tourism and aviation industries will move east impacting all international industry stakeholders.

Asia’s tourism growth, both within the region and beyond it, has been well-documented, but aviation data released today by the International Air Transport Association highlights how much travel is taking place within the region and on board its carriers.

Airlines registered in the Asia-Pacific region carry more passengers than airlines from any other region, according to the organization’s World Air Transport Statistics.

Asia-Pacific airlines carried 1.012 billion passengers in 2013, up 9.3 percent compared with 2012, and that was significantly more than the 826 million passengers carried by European airlines or the 819 million passengers flown on North American carriers.

The chart below displays total passengers carried on airlines registered in each region:

Total Passengers by a Region’s Airlines in 2013

Region Passengers 2013 Change (YOY)
Asia-Pacific 1.012 billion + 9.30%
Europe 825.9 million + 3.45%
North America 818.9 million + 0.70%
Latin America and the Caribbean 240.5 million + 7.60%
Middle East 157.9 million + 8%
Africa 73.8 million + 5.60%

It’s not surprising then that the world’s most traveled international and domestic routes between two city-pairs are both in Asia.

Airlines traveling between Hong Kong and Chinese Taipei carried 4.9 million flyers in 2013, more than 1 million passengers more than the next most popular city-pair: Dublin-London.

The following chart displays the top three city pairs based on passengers carried on international routes:

Top 3 City Pairs by Passengers on International Routes 2013

City-Pair Passengers 2013 Change (YOY)
Hong Kong – Chinese Taipei 4.9 million – 11.50%
Dublin – London 3.6 million + 6.90%
Jakarta – Singapore 3.4 million + 8.60%

The most popular domestic routes in the world are in Korea and Japan. Almost one billion travelers move between popular island destination Jeju and Seoul. The other most popular domestic routes are between Tokyo and two Japanese cities.

The following chart displays the top three city-pairs based on passengers carried on domestic routes in 2013:

Top 3 City Pairs by Passengers on Domestic Routes 2013

City-Pair Passengers 2013 Change (YOY)
Jeju – Seoul 9.58 million + 1.40%
Sapporo – Tokyo 9.17 million + 4.70%
Fukuoka – Tokyo 8.34 million + 9.30%

Despite the impressive volume of travelers on these routes and their growth, the U.S. remains the largest single aviation market in terms of international and domestic traffic by all airlines.


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Tags: china, iata, skiftstats

Photo credit: An airport sign at Hong Kong International Airport. James Stewart / Flickr

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