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Preliminary figures released by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) show a total of 4.3 billion passengers were carried by air transport on scheduled services in 2018.
- This indicates a 6.1 per cent increase over 2017. The number of departures rose to approximately 38 million globally, and world passenger traffic grew solidly at 6.7 per cent and reached approximately 8.2 trillion RPKs performed. This growth is a slowdown from the 7.9 per cent achieved in 2017.
- Over half of the world’s 1.4 billion tourists who travelled across international borders last year were transported by air, and that air transport now carries some 35% of world trade by value.
- In 2018, the low-cost carriers (LCCs) carried an estimated 1.3 billion passengers, and accounted for approximately 31 per cent of the world total scheduled passengers.
- After the sharp pick-up in air freight growth during the inventory restocking in 2017, air cargo traffic growth moderated in 2018. This coincides with the softening demand drivers impacted by the trade tension and declining import and export orders.
- Average jet fuel prices increased by approximately 31 per cent in 2018 compared to 2017 but remained notably lower than the prices observed for the ten years prior to 2015.
- The airline industry is expected to end 2018 with another record operating profit of around USD 57 billion and an operating margin of 7.0 percent.
- The net profits for the Industry is expected to be around USD 34 billion with nearly half of this being generated by air carriers of North America.