Airlines are connecting more people than ever, and global air travel continues to become more accessible and efficient, pointing to extended growth in the aviation sector. These were the high-level themes from the 2018 performance figures from the IATA World Air Transport Statistics report, which was released on July 31, 2019.

One of the most significant stats from the report was that 4.4 billion passengers traveled by air in 2018, which is a 6.9 percent increase from the previous year. Also, record efficiency was achieved with 81.9 percent of available seats being filled.

“Airlines are connecting more people and places than ever before,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO. “The freedom to fly is more accessible than ever. And our world is a more prosperous place as a result.”

Following are some other key findings from the report:

● Fuel efficiency improved by more than 12 percent 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.
● 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).

In addition, people from the United Kingdom (126.2 million, or 8.6 percent of all passengers) topped the list of international travelers with the United States (111.5 million, or 7.6 percent of all passengers) at number two, and China came in third with 97 million, or 6.6 percent of all passengers.

According to the total scheduled passenger kilometers flown, American Airlines is number one at 330.6 billion, followed by Delta Airlines at 330 billion, and then United Airlines at 329.6 billion.

Click here to read the full report.

About Shany Seawright

A senior executive at Strategic Communications Group and Managing Editor of Connected Aviation Today, as well as other publications, Seawright oversees the editorial direction of the publication and managed the editorial staff.