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TRANSPORT REPORT: AIRLINES TOOK 242m MORE TRIPS IN 2016 YET AFRICA ONLY HAS 2% OF GLOBAL AIR PASSENGER MARKET SHARE

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TRANSPORT REPORT: AIRLINES TOOK 242m MORE TRIPS IN 2016 YET AFRICA ONLY HAS 2% OF GLOBAL AIR PASSENGER MARKET SHARE
To mark Transport Month, The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released its Air Transport Industry Performance Statistics for 2016. We take a close look at the report and share with members some notable take-outs from it: 

  • Airlines carried 3.8bn passengers on scheduled services in 2016 – a 7% year-on-year (YOY) increase (from 2015). This represents an additional 242 million air trips taken.

Airlines in the Asia-Pacific region carried the largest number of passengers. The regional ranking based on total passengers carried on scheduled services in that region is:

  • Asia-Pacific region: 35% market share (1.3bn passengers) up 11.3% [YOY]
  • Europe: 26% market share (992.4m passengers) up 6.1%
  • North America: 24% market share (911.5m passengers) up 3%
  • Latin America: 7% market share (275.1m passengers) up 1.8%
  • Middle East: 5% market share (206.1m passengers) up 9.1%
  • Africa: 2% market share (84m passengers) up 6% 

The top 5 airlines ranked by total scheduled passengers carried (domestic and intl.) were:

  1. Southwest Airlines            (151.8 million passengers)
  2. American Airlines             (144.2m)
  3. Delta Air Lines                 (143.3m)
  4. China Southern Airlines  (114.5m)
  5. Ryanair                           (112m)

The top 5 international/regional passenger airport-pairs (all in Asia-Pacific region) were:

  1. Hong Kong – Taipei               (5.2 million passengers; up 2.1% from 2015)
  2. Jakarta – Singapore             (3.4m; up 0.9%)
  3. Bangkok – Hong Kong         (3.0m; down 3.14%)
  4. Kuala Lumpur – Singapore  (2.8m; up 3.3%)
  5. Hong Kong – Seoul            (2.8m; down 15%)     

Passenger traffic by nationality:

  • US citizens are the world’s most prevalent travellers, with 810 million passengers (21% of all passengers worldwide) travelling on US passports in 2016
  • Internationally, American citizens also took top place, comprising 9.5% of all travellers. This was followed by UK (7.8%), Germany (6.5%), China (6.4%) and France (4.1%)
  • Domestically, US citizens were again the most prevalent travellers at 29.9%, followed by China (19%), India (5.2%), Indonesia (4.4%) and Japan (3.5%).

The Share of Revenue Passenger Kilometres (RPK) by Airline Type were as follows:

  • Traditional / Legacy type Airlines : 77%
  • Leisure type Airlines : 20%
  • Low cost type Airlines : 3% 

Star Alliance (of which South African Airways forms part) maintained its position as the largest airline alliance in 2016, with 38% of total scheduled traffic (in RPK). This is followed by SkyTeam (33%) and OneWorld (29%).

Why must Africa settle for only 2% of global passenger market share?
The latest IATA report shows that African airlines carried the least number of passengers, with the continent only having 2% of the global market share. Although passengers to Africa increased by 6%, for a continent the size of Africa surely that should be more? We hope that the airline industry, regional government and other key stakeholders can come together and strive to take advantage of the more than 7% year-on-year increase in Global Air Travel.  

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