The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has released performance figures for 2018, which showed that global air connectivity continues to become more accessible and more efficient.
Also, IATA World Air Transport Statistics (WATS2019) confirms that: 4.4 billion passengers flew in 2018, record efficiency was achieved with 81.9 per cent of available seats being filled, fuel efficiency improved by more than 12 per cent compared to 2010, 22,000 city pairs are now connected by direct flights, up 1,300 over 2017 and double the 10,250 city pairs connected in 1998 and that the real cost of air transport has more than halved over the last 20 years (to around 78 US cents per revenue tonne-kilometer, or RTK).
According to Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director general, ‘’Airlines are connecting more people and places than ever before. The freedom to fly is more accessible than ever. And our world is a more prosperous place as a result. As with any human activity this comes with an environmental cost that airlines are committed to reducing. We understand that sustainability is essential to our license to spread aviation’s benefits. From 2020 we will cap net carbon emissions growth. And, by 2050, we will cut our net carbon footprint to half 2005 levels. This ambitious climate action goal needs government support. It is critical for sustainable aviation fuels, new technology and more efficient routes to deliver the greener future we are aiming for.”
Highlighting the 2018 airline industry performance, IATA said that passenger system-wide, airlines carried 4.4 billion passengers on scheduled services, an increase of 6.9 per cent over 2017, representing an additional 284 million trips by air.
The development of the low-cost carrier (LCC) segment, IATA said, continues to outpace that of network carriers.
Measured in available seat kilometres(ASKs), it stated that LCC capacity grew by 13.4 per cent, almost doubling the overall industry growth rate of 6.9 per cent .
LCCs, the body said, accounted for 21 per cent of global capacity in 2018, up from 11 per cent in 2004.
IATA stated that when looking at available seats, the global share of LCCs in 2018 was 29 per cent, reflecting the short-haul nature of their business model and that this is up from 16 per cent in 2004.
Some 52 of IATA’s 290 current member airlines classify themselves as LCCs and other new model airlines.
According to IATA airlines in the Asia-Pacific region once again carried the largest number of passengers system wide, adding that the regional rankings (based on total passengers carried on scheduled services by airlines registered in that region) are:
Asia-Pacific 37.1 per cent market share (1.6 billion passengers, an increase of 9.2 per cent compared to the region’s passengers in 2017): Europe 26.2 per cent market share (1.1 billion passengers, up 6.6 per cent over 2017); North America 22.6 per cent market share (989.4 million passengers, up 4.8 per cent over 2017); Latin America 6.9 per cent market share (302.2 million passengers, up 5.7 percent over 2017); Middle East 5.1 percent market share (224.2 million passengers, an increase of 4.0 per cent over 2017); Africa 2.1 per cent market share (92 million passengers, up 5.5 percent over 2017).
According to IATA listing, the top five airlines ranked by total scheduled passenger kilometers flown to include American Airlines (330.6 billion); Delta Air Lines (330 billion); United Airlines (329.6 billion); Emirates (302.3 billion); and Southwest Airlines (214.6 billion)