Air transport employs 65.5 million people, contributes $2.7 trillion to global economy

The global air transport sector employs 65.5 million people while contributing $2.7 trillion to the world’s economy, a new research by the Air Transport Action Group (ATAG) shows.

The report, Aviation: Benefits Beyond Borders explores the fundamental role of civil aviation in today’s society and addresses the economic, social and environmental impacts of the industry.

According to the report, there are over 10 million women and men working within the industry to make sure 120,000 flights and 12 million passengers a day are guided safely through their journeys. The wider supply chain, flow-on impacts and jobs in tourism made possible by air transport show that at least 65.5 million jobs and 3.6 per cent of global economic activity are supported by our industry.

The report further notes that with an open, free-trade approach, the growth in air transport will support some 97.8 million jobs and $5.7 trillion in economic activity in 2036.

“However, if governments create a more fragmented world with isolationism and protectionist policies, over 12 million fewer jobs and $1.2 trillion less in economic activity would be supported by air transport,” it said.

The following are some of the key facts of the report:

  • Air transport supports 65.5 million jobs and $2.7 trillion in global economic activity.
  • Over 10 million people work directly for the industry itself.
  • Air travel carries 35 per cent of world trade by value ($6.0 trillion worth in 2017), but less than 1% by volume (62 million tonnes in 2017).
  • Airfares today are around 90 per cent lower than the same journey would have cost in 1950 – this has enabled access to air travel by greater sections of the population.
  • Scope of the industry: 1,303 airlines fly 31,717 aircraft on 45,091 routes between 3,759 airports in airspace managed by 170 air navigation service providers.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

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