New forecast says annual airline passenger number will be over 20 billion by 2040

The number of passengers flying every year is set to double by 2040, despite current travel infrastructure in some places struggling to cope with already high demand.

A new report from Airports Council International (ACI) says if annual growth continues at its current rate of 4 percent, the number of people using air travel will increase from 8.2 billion last year to 20.9 billion in 2040.

Continued growth in the Chinese market would see it become the largest passenger market in the world, with 4 billion passengers a year - which would make up nearly 20 percent of total global traffic. Other areas expected to emerge as major players such are Indonesia, Turkey and Vietnam.

New forecast says annual airline passenger number will be over 20 billion by 2040
Photo credit: Heathrow Airport

Angela Gittens, ACI’s director, says while the increase in passenger numbers is good news economically, the industry could become a victim of its own success as airports and airlines struggling to keep up with demand.

"Surging air transport demand threatens to outstrip current and planned airport infrastructure in many regions around the world," says Ms Gittens.

"These physical capacity considerations and potential bottlenecks in air transport infrastructure pose challenges to the global industry in accommodating the strong forecast future demand."

New forecast says annual airline passenger number will be over 20 billion by 2040
Photo credit: Heathrow Airport

Airports in New Zealand and around the world are already rushing to prepare for the increase in passenger numbers.

Auckland International Airport is currently investing heavily in its future, currently spending a whopping $1 million each day on upgrades and new facilities.

Just over 19 million passengers came through Auckland Airport in 2017, and that number is expected to increase to 40 million a year by 2044.


The airport expects a second runway to be operational by 2028. It will be located north of the current airfield.

On the other side of the world at London's Heathrow Airport, plans are in-place for a controversial third runway, which would allow for a 54 percent increase in annual passenger traffic - taking the figure to 130 million per year.

Delays in building the new runway due to fierce political debate have seen Heathrow slip down the list of the world’s busiest airports to seventh. Atlanta remains the busiest, with over 100 million passenger movements each year.

Newshub.

 

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