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Three billion persons use air transport for business, tourism in 2012 – ICAO

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plane1Nearly three billion (2.9 billion) people used air transport to help them realize their business and tourism needs in 2012, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has said citing its preliminary figures on scheduled services.

According to ICAO’s current projection, the annualized passenger figure is up 5% since 2011 and is expected to reach over six billion by 2030.

The organisation’s figures showed that the total scheduled passenger traffic grew at a rate of 5.5% in 2012, a one percentage point decrease compared to last year’s growth rate.

“This is a reflection of positive economic results worldwide, despite slow economic growth in some regions and the implementation of fiscal austerity policies in key European economies,” the ICAO said.

The ICAO observed a growth by 6.5% of international traffic in 2012, the same rate for 2011. The highest growth for international traffic was registered by the airlines of the Middle East followed by Latin America and the Caribbean, it added.

ICAO noted that African carriers registered growth almost seven times higher than their 2011 results, at 7.4% compared to 1.1%.

“This makes Africa the third fastest growing international market in 2012, mainly due to the improved performance of airlines registered in North Africa due to increased political stability in the sub-region,” it said.

Domestically, markets grew by 3.9% over 2011, according to the ICAO with growth mainly driven by strong demand for domestic air travel in the Asia/Pacific, Latin America/Caribbean and the Middle East regions.

The overall air transport capacity offered by airlines, expressed in available seat-kilometres (ASKs), increased globally by 4.0% in 2012, ICAO figures show.

By Ekow Quandzie

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