Low-cost airlines increased air traffic in 2016 : World air passenger traffic continued to rise in 2016, though at a slightly slower rate than in previous years.
Thanks to the entrepreneurship of low-cost airlines, EasyJet and the like accounted for a record-breaking 28% of this air traffic.
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3.7 billion passengers worldwide were carried by airlines in 2016, according to figures recently released by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). This shows a 6% increase on the figures from 2015, when a 7% increase was achieved, according to data collected by this United Nations agency that specialises in aviation.
Passing the milestone of a billion passengers
The increase was most significant in Asia (+8%), the Middle East (+11.2%), Latin America (+6.5%) and Africa (+5.7%), while the rate of growth was somewhat slower in Europe (+4.3%) and North America (+3.5%), which nevertheless represents 13% of the total volume of world traffic. "Over half of the world’s tourists who travel across international borders each year were transported by air," stated the ICAO.
In 2016, low-cost airlines accounted for 28% of air passenger traffic, exceeding the milestone of a billion passengers for the very first time. In Europe, these companies transported nearly a third of all passengers, a higher proportion than in Asia (31%) or North America (25%). "The increasing presence of low-cost carriers notably in emerging economies have contributed to the overall growth of passenger traffic," said the organisation.
The United States account for 43% of the total number of domestic passengers
With regard to domestic traffic, the United States account for 43% of the total number of passengers, a 4.3% increase in one year. As for Asia, passenger traffic increased by 10% owing to the strong demand in India and China.
From a financial point of view, increased traffic and a significant decrease in fuel costs should enable airlines to record operating profits of USD 60 billion for 2016, two billion more than in 2015. "More than a third of the profits are expected to come from the carriers of North America, whose domestic market represents 66 per cent of their total operations," predicted the ICAO.