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Following Global Air Tavel Demand
Air Travel

Following Global Air Tavel Demand

At the beginning of 2019, Airbus released its air travel demand forecast for 2038. That report highlighted that over that 15-year period, demand for passenger and cargo air travel would rise from an average annual growth rate of 3.6% to 3.9%. The main drivers behind this increase are population growth, GDP per capita, and disposable income in emerging markets (EM), as well as urbanization, technological advances, and environmental regulations which push up both the cost of living and quality standards for neighborhoods where people live.

Passenger Global Air Demand

Global Air Demand is expected to rise by 3.9% a year to 2038, according to Boeing’s Global Market Forecast. The fastest-growing regions are Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, while China and India lead in terms of growth rate among countries.

Southwest Airlines is set to take over as the world’s largest single-aisle airplane operator by 2022 with its fleet size reaching 1,025 jets by then.

The airline is set to take over as the world’s largest single-aisle airplane operator by 2022 with its fleet size reaching 1,025 jets by then. The company will operate nearly twice as many 737s as its closest competitor, Delta Air Lines Inc., which has 621 narrowbody planes in service. Southwest is forecast to add more than 300 Boeing Co. 737 MAX 8 and 9 aircraft between 2020 and 2022.

Cargo Global Air Demand

Cargo global air demand is projected to rise 4.1% annually, reaching $10.5 trillion by 2038. Cargo air demand is expected to grow from $9.5 trillion in 2019 to $10.5 trillion in 2038 at an average annual growth rate of 4.1%. This compares with passenger air transportation’s estimated average annual growth rate of 3% during the same period (from $6 trillion now).

The aviation industry is growing faster than any other mode of transportation. The sector’s total revenue will increase by 65% over the next 20 years, from $6 trillion in 2019 to $10.5 trillion in 2038.

The sector’s share of the global economy is projected to increase from 0.7% in 2019 to 1% by 2038. The industry will generate an estimated $10.5 trillion in revenue during 2038, equivalent to 1% of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP).

Military Global Air Demand

The global demand for military aircraft is expected to grow at a rate of 3.7% annually through 2023, according to Forecast International. Demand for military air transport will increase by 4.1% annually during this period, while demand for fixed-wing aircraft will rise by 2.4%.

The most significant driver of global growth in military helicopter demand over the next decade will be China’s modernization efforts, which include replacing aging helicopters with more advanced models that can better support its expeditionary missions and operations at sea (e.g., anti-piracy patrols). In addition, Russia’s increased spending on defense has led it to modernize its fleet of combat helicopters as well as develop new ones based on existing designs such as those produced by Kamov or Mil Moscow Helicopter Plant.

Global Air Demand Is Set to Rise By 3.9% a Year to 2038

Global air demand is set to rise by 3.9% per year to 2038, reaching 6.3 billion passengers and 7.1 billion revenue tonne-kilometers (RTKs) of cargo traffic by that date.

The passenger market will grow by 4.8% annually, with Asia Pacific accounting for the largest share of new passengers at around 40%. The region’s population has been growing strongly and it is expected to continue doing so until 2030 when it will peak at 5.5 billion people before declining slightly due to aging demographics and lower fertility rates in some countries such as China and Japan. In addition, there has been an increase in tourism due to economic growth as well as improved accessibility thanks to expanding infrastructure such as airports or high-speed rail lines that link cities together within large metropolitan areas like Tokyo or Seoul.

The cargo sector will see moderate gains over this period with 2%, driven primarily by increased demand from emerging markets where manufacturing industries are growing rapidly thanks largely due their proximity.


We have seen an increase in air demand, which is driven by rising incomes and increasing urbanization. While the number of people living in cities will continue to grow, we believe there will be enough capacity in the global aviation system to meet this demand without compromising safety or environmental concerns. In fact, we expect air travel demand will continue growing for many years to come as more people take advantage of low-cost carriers and alternative modes of transport such as trains or buses become less attractive due to their high costs.