Air transport supports 30.2 million jobs and $684 billion in Asia-Pacific

Beijing China'a busiest airport

Air transport supports 30.2 million jobs and $684 billion in Asia-Pacific economic activity

Geneva, 2 October 2018 – The Asia-Pacific region is benefitting from air transport connections as over 1.5 billion passengers travel in the region, supporting 30.2 million jobs in aviation and related industries, and 2.7% of the region’s economic activity. These findings are in a new report, Aviation: Benefits Beyond Borders, released by the Air Transport Action Group (ATAG) today.

Launching the report at the ATAG Global Sustainable Aviation Summit in Geneva, ATAG’s Executive Director, Michael Gill, said: “Let’s take a step back and think about how advances in air transport have changed the way people and businesses connect with each other – the reach we have today is extraordinary. More people in more parts of the world than ever before are taking advantage of safe, fast and efficient travel.”

“Asia-Pacific has seen real benefits in embracing the role of air transport. Today, the region is the busiest in the world, with over a third of global passenger traffic from Asia-Pacific. Passengers in the region have taken advantage of the reduction in the price of tickets over the past decades which enables more people to travel, see the world and do business outside of their own country.”

“By 2036, aviation in the region is expected to support 44 million jobs and $1.7 trillion in economic activity. Key to this growth will be sustainable development of air transport as part of national growth plans, including improvements in infrastructure, support for sustainable aviation fuels and helping to encourage more young women and men to think of careers in aviation.”

Andy Herdman, Director General of the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines commented: “Air travel is now part of everyday modern life for billions of people worldwide. Within the Asia Pacific region, aviation has had a transformative influence on social and economic development, serving rapidly growing numbers of middle class consumers. We are committed to delivering sustainable growth, strengthening regional integration and global connectivity, to meet society’s future needs.”

Airports Council International Asia-Pacific Regional Director, Patti Chau, said: “We are excited to see the tremendous opportunities this growth has for the region’s communities. Asia-Pacific and the Middle East airports are already coping with enormous capacity constraints and expanding their facilities in the face of this growth. ACI is continuing to work with our members in their capacity building efforts, seeking to more sustainably contribute to the economies of the region and world at large.”

Hai Eng Chiang, Director Asia Pacific Affairs of the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation, said: “Air navigation service providers (ANSPs) play a vital role managing the region’s crowded skies. With 14 of the world’s 20 busiest international air routes and continuing air traffic growth in Asia Pacific, CANSO Member ANSPs are investing in technology and human resources and collaborating across borders to ensure the safety and efficiency of flights”.

Globally, the air transport sector 65.5 million jobs and $2.7 trillion in economic activity, including over 10 million women and men working directly for the industry itself. Aviation carries 35% of world trade by value, but less than 1% by volume and 57% of world tourists travel to their destinations by air.

The report, which can be downloaded at, was prepared by ATAG along with other aviation industry associations and builds on extensive research by Oxford Economics.

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