Asia Pacific becomes world largest aviation market
1 February 2010 (Singapore): The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said that in 2009 intra-Asia-Pacific travel had eclipsed the number of travelers in North America as the world’s largest aviation market. Asia-Pacific’s travelers numbered 647 million compared the 638 million who travelled within North America (including domestic markets). By 2013 an additional 217 million travelers are expected to take to the skies within Asia-Pacific.
“Achieving Asia-Pacific’s tremendous potential is contingent upon short-term efforts to battle the impacts of the economic downturn with cost reductions and efficiency gains. Longer-term Asia-Pacific must also face global challenges including environment, security and liberalization,” said Giovanni Bisignani, IATA’s Director General and CEO at the start of the Singapore Air Show Aviation Leadership Summit.
The global aviation industry is expected to reduce losses from US$11.0 billion in 2009 to US$5.6 billion in 2010. The loss reduction is being led by Asia-Pacific’s carriers who are expected to see their losses shrink from US$3.4 billion in 2009 to US$700 million in 2010. “Asia-Pacific’s prospects are improving faster than other regions,” said Bisignani.
Bisignani noted that the Asia-Pacific region is diverse, dynamic and with great potential:
Diverse: Asia-Pacific is home to two of the world’s top five airlines in terms of profitability. At the same time, the region’s governments provided over US$10 billion in government bailouts to airlines in the first quarter of the year. The region’s two biggest growth markets