According to the latest 20-year Air Passenger Forecast released by IATA on October 24 the number of passengers traveling in 2036 is expected to reach 7.8 billion. This is almost double compared to the 4 billion air travelers expected this year. 

IATA revised its forecast by adding over a half-billion passengers and also indicated that China will overtake the USA as the world’s leading aviation market by 2022, which is several years earlier than the previous predictions. The reason for this is the faster growth of the Chinese aviation market compared to the slightly reduced US growth. 

IATA foresees the Asia-Pacific region as the primary source of nearly half of the new passengers expected to travel in the following two decades. The overall expectation is of growing demand for global connectivity, which according to Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO is an opportunity for innovation and prosperity. 

In terms of aviation market development, the countries following China and the Us include the UK, which is expected to drop to fifth position by 2036, being surpassed by India in 2025 and Indonesia in 2030. The rest in the top 10 are Japan, Spain, Germany, Turkey and Thailand, while France and Italy will be out of the top 10 by about 2032.