The population of the world is about 7.4 billion and last year, the latest report of Airports Council International (ACI), the total number of passengers for all world regions totaled 7.2 billion—an increase of 6.4 percent, which is the largest in five years.
“On the back of a growing middle class in key emerging markets, the significant growth of intercontinental hubs in Asia-Pacific and the Middle East reveals that air transport’s nucleus continues to move eastward,” said ACI. “Despite the slowing of economic growth in China, its move away from an investment-led economy to a consumption-driven economy will further stimulate air transport demand over the long run.”
As is the case with the global economy, reported Bloomberg, China is a dominant force for this growth. Driven by China’s number, the Asia Pacific region is now the location of more air traffic than any global region.
Last year, Asia-Pacific airports handled the most air traffic, with trips up 8.6 percent to 2.46 billion, while the Middle East increased the fastest, climbing 9.6 percent to 334 million
While 20 years ago, traffic handled by Beijing International Airport was an asterisk in world air traffic totals, last year, the airport was ranked No. 2, with passengers up 4.4 percent to 89.9 million last year, trailing Atlanta’s 5.5 percent increase to 101.5 million.