China spurs massive growth in global air traffic
China's switch from investment-led to consumption-driven economy will further stimulate the world's air transport demand over the long run, according to ACI.
Airline passenger traffic grew 6.4% worldwide last year, according to Airports Council International (ACI). Total passengers rose across all major regions to 7.2 billion, almost the population of the planet.
Routes to, from and within Asia-Pacific will see an extra 1.8 billion annual passengers by 2035, for an overall market size of 3.1 billion. Its annual average growth rate of 4.7% will be the second-highest, behind the Middle East.
One of the biggest driving forces has been China. Beijing's airport held the No. 2 rank with passengers up 4.4% to 89.9 million last year, trailing Atlanta's 5.5% increase to 101.5 million.
"Despite the slowing of economic growth in China, its move away from an investment-led economy to a consumption-driven economy will further stimulate air transport demand over the long run," ACI said in its roundup.