The latest World Air Transport Statistics (WATS) from the International Air Transport Association (IATA) show that 4.4 billion passengers traveled by air in 2018.
Released on 31 July, the statistics also found that the air transport industry recorded a record load factor of 81.9% last year.
Passenger figures of 4.4 billion represented a 6.9% increase from the year previous, an additional 284 million trips by air.
We understand that sustainability is essential to our license to spread aviation’s benefits
Welcoming the growth, IATA Director General and CEO Alexandre de Juniac said the industry is aware of the need to become more sustainable as it flourishes.
“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,” said de Juniac.
“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.”
WATS also recorded fuel efficiency as improved by 12% from 2010 figures, while 22,000 city pairs are connected by direct flights—double the number of city pairs connected in 1998.
IATA’s report found that the real cost of air transport has more than halved over the last 20 years.
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