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World aviation market ranking; India to overtake UK

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New Delhi (Oct 16, 2014): India, which is now the ninth largest aviation market in the world, will overtake the UK to take the third position in over 15 years, after China and the United States, global airlines' body IATA said on Thursday.

India would be among the top five fastest growing markets in terms of adding more passengers every year, the first IATA projection for the next two decades showed.

"Currently the ninth largest market, India will see a total of 367 million passengers by 2034, an extra 266 million annual passengers compared to today. It will overtake the United Kingdom (148 million extra passengers, total market 337 million) to become the third largest market around 2031," a report of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) released today showed.

By 2034, "the five fastest-increasing markets in terms of additional passengers per year will be China (856 million new passengers per year), the US (559 million), India (266 million), Indonesia (183 million) and Brazil (170 million)."

The Indian and Brazilian domestic markets would grow at 6.9 and 5.4 per cent respectively, with the former adding 159 million extra passengers and the latter 147 million. Their total domestic air markets will be 215 million and 226 million respectively, the IATA projections showed.

Eight of the ten fastest-growing markets in percentage terms over the next two decades would be in Africa, with Central African Republic, Madagascar, Tanzania, Burundi and Kuwait making up the five fastest-growing markets.

Interestingly, intra-Pakistan flights would also grow at a fast average rate of almost ten per cent.

Among the highlights of the report is the expectation that China would overtake the United States as the world's largest passenger market -- defined by traffic to, from and within, by 2030. "Both markets, however, are expected to remain the largest by a wide margin," the study said.

In terms of country-pairs, Asian and South American destinations would see the fastest growth, reflecting economic and demographic growth in those markets, the IATA report said.

"Intra-Pakistan, Kuwait-Thailand, United Arab Emirates (UAE)-Ethiopia, Colombia-Ecuador and intra-Honduras travel will all grow by at least 9.5 per cent on average for the next 20 years, while Indonesia-East Timor will be the fastest growing pair of all, at 14.9 per cent," it said.

"It is an exciting prospect to think that in the next 20 years more than twice as many passengers as today will have the chance to fly. Air connectivity on this scale will help transform economic opportunities for millions of people," IATA chief Tony Tyler said in his comments on the report.

In 20 years' time, "we can expect aviation to be supporting around 105 million jobs and USD six trillion in GDP," he said.

The report, the first from the new IATA Passenger Forecasting service, analyses passenger flows across 4,000 country pairs for the next 20 years, forecasting passenger numbers by way of three key demand drivers -- living standards, population and demographics, and price and availability.