Home » Aviation, Breaking News » Air travel in AsPac to grow 5.5% yearly, support 44M jobs by 2036—report

Air transport in the Asia-Pacific region is seen to expand by 5.5% annually over the next 20 years, driving economic growth and creating millions more jobs for the region, according to a new report.

The new publication, “Aviation: Benefits Beyond Borders,” released by Geneva-based Air Transport Action Group (ATAG) last October 2, says the aviation industry is expected to keep providing huge employment and economic benefits in the Asia-Pacific region as air travel continues to expand over the next two decades.

According to the report, with 1.5 billion passengers traveling in the region, the aviation sector and its related industries supported 30.2 million jobs, or 1.6% of all employment, in 2016. The sector also contributed US$684 billion to GDP, or 2.7% of the region’s economic activity, in the same year.

In launching the report, ATAG’s executive director Michael Gill said: “Let’s take a step back and think about how advances in air transport have changed the way people and businesses connect with each other—the reach we have today is extraordinary. More people in more parts of the world than ever before are taking advantage of safe, fast and efficient travel.”

Asia-Pacific has seen real benefits in embracing the role of air transport, he continued. “Today, the region is the busiest in the world, with over a third of global passenger traffic from Asia-Pacific. Passengers in the region have taken advantage of the reduction in the price of tickets over the past decades which enables more people to travel, see the world and do business outside of their own country.”

On the industry outlook, the report said: “Air travel in Asia-Pacific is expected to continue to grow at about 5.5% per year over the next two decades. This increase will, in turn, drive growth in the economic output and jobs that are supported by the air transport industry over the next 20 years.”

It added: “Oxford Economics forecasts that by 2036 the impact of air transport and the tourism it facilitates in Asia-Pacific countries will have grown to support 44 million jobs (46% more than in 2016) and a $1.7 trillion contribution to GDP (a 151% increase).”

Key to this growth, said Gill, will be sustainable development of air transport as part of national growth plans, including improvements in infrastructure, support for sustainable aviation fuels, and helping to encourage more young women and men to think of careers in aviation.

Andrew Herdman, director general of the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines, commented: “Air travel is now part of everyday modern life for billions of people worldwide. Within the Asia Pacific region, aviation has had a transformative influence on social and economic development, serving rapidly growing numbers of middle class consumers.”

Airports Council International’s Asia-Pacific regional director Patti Chau said: “We are excited to see the tremendous opportunities this growth has for the region’s communities. Asia-Pacific and the Middle East airports are already coping with enormous capacity constraints and expanding their facilities in the face of this growth.”

Globally, the air transport sector provides 65.5 million jobs and $2.7 trillion in economic activity, including over 10 million women and men working directly for the industry itself. Aviation carries 35% of world trade by value, but less than 1% by volume and 57% of world tourists travel to their destinations by air.

The report, which can be downloaded at www.aviationbenefits.org, was prepared by ATAG, an association that represents all sectors of the air transport industry, along with other aviation industry associations, and builds on extensive research by Oxford Economics.

Photo: Shimin Gu

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