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Over 40% of International Traffic Touched Asia-Pacific in 2014

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Over 40% of International Traffic Touched Asia-Pacific in 2014  - Airlines publisher
Tatjana Obrazcova

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced industry performance statistics for 2014 showing the growing demand for air transport. Asia Asia-Pacific has clearly established itself as the industry’s largest market. In 2014 that was demonstrated by several measures:

  • International traffic to, from and within the Asia-Pacific region represented 42% of total international revenue passenger kilometers (RPKs).
  • Carriers registered in the Asia-Pacific region carried some 33% of total passengers
  • The five busiest international and domestic city-pair air routes were all in the Asia-Pacific region.

The information was reported in the recently released 59th Edition of the World Air Transport Statistics (WATS), the yearbook of the airline industry’s annual performance.

“Commercial aviation is a remarkable engine for economic activity. The growth of connectivity illustrates the point. A billion more people boarded aircraft last year than did a decade ago. Much of that growth has been in the Asia-Pacific region where expanding connectivity has gone hand-in-hand with economic opportunity. The industry’s 2014 performance shows aviation connectivity as a driving force in emerging economies and a critical component in the developed world,” said Tony Tyler, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

In 2014 airlines operated some100,000 flights per day and transported 51.3 million tonnes of cargo, equivalent to around 35% of the total value of all goods traded internationally.

Highlights of the 2014 airline industry performance:


  • System-wide, airlines carried 3.3 billion passengers on scheduled services, an increase of 5.8% over 2013.  
  • Airlines in the Asia-Pacific region once again carried the largest number of passengers. The regional ranking (based on total passengers carried on scheduled services by airlines registered in that region) is:
    1. Asia-Pacific 33.3% market share (1.1 billion passengers, an increase of 8% compared to the region’s passengers in 2013) 
    2. Europe 26.3% market share (873.4 million passengers, up 5.6% over 2013) 
    3. North America 25.3% market share (841.8 million, up 2.6% over 2013)
    4. Latin America and the Caribbean 7.7% market share (255.9 million, up 7.0%)
    5. Middle East 5.2% market share (173.0 million, an increase of 10.0%) 
    6. Africa 2.3% market share (76.7 million, up 2.4% over 2013). 
  • The top five airlines ranked by total scheduled passengers carried (domestic and international) were:
    1. Delta Air Lines (129.4 million)
    2. Southwest Airlines (129.1 million)
    3. China Southern Airlines (100.7 million)
    4. United Airlines (90.4 million)
    5. American Airlines (87.8 million) (note: does not include results of US Airways (54.4 million), which operated as a separate country in 2014) 
  • The top five international/regional passenger airport-pairs were all within the Asia-Pacific region:
    1. Hong Kong-Taipei (5.1 million, up 4% from 2013) 
    2. Jakarta-Singapore (3.5 million, up 1.4%)
    3. Hong Kong-Singapore (2.8 million, increase of 7.8%) 
    4. Hong Kong-Shanghai (2.7 million, up 5.9%)
    5. Hong Kong-Seoul (2.5 million, an increase of 25.8% from 2013)
  • The top five domestic passenger airport-pairs were also all in the Asia-Pacific region:
    1. Jeju Seoul (10.5 million, up 10.9% over 2013) 
    2. Fukuoka-Tokyo (8.3 million, up 11.7%) 
    3. Sapporo-Tokyo (7.8 million, a decrease of 4.0% from 2013) 
    4. Melbourne-Sydney (7.0 million, down 5.2%)
    5. Beijing-Shanghai (5.8 million, down 1.1% from 2013)


  • Globally, cargo markets showed a 5.8% expansion in freight tonne kilometers (FTKs). This outstripped a capacity increase of 5.0% lifting load factors to 48%.  
  • The top five airlines ranked by total freight tonnes carried on scheduled services were:
    1. Federal Express (7.1 million) 
    2. UPS Airlines (4.2 million)
    3. Emirates (2.3 million)
    4. Korean Air (1.5 million)
    5. Cathay Pacific Airways (1.5 million)

Airline Alliances

  • Star Alliance maintained its position as the largest airline alliance in 2014 with 23.7% of total scheduled traffic (in RPK), followed by SkyTeam (20.5%) and oneworld (18.3%).

The 59th WATS is available for purchase on IATA’s website at www.iata.org/wats.

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