The rise in air passengers in 2017 was supported by a broad-based improvement in global economic conditions and lower average airfares
By SHAZNI ONG / Pic By MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
The Kuala Lumpur-Singapore (KUL-SIN) flight route is among the top five international/regional passenger airports as global air travellers exceeded four billion last year, the first time airlines carry that many humans.
International Air Transport Association (IATA) said the rise in air passengers in 2017 was supported by a broad-based improvement in global economic conditions and lower average airfares.
The KUL-SIN sector was the fourth-biggest, posting 2.8 million passengers last year but 0.3% lower compared to 2016.
The Hong Kong-Taipei Taoyuan route tops the list with 5.4 million passengers in 2017, up 1.8% from 2016, followed by Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta Singapore (3.3 million passengers), Bangkok Suvarnabhumi-Hong Kong (3.1 million) and Hong Kong-Seoul Incheon (2.7 million).
The IATA added that airlines connected a record number of cities worldwide, providing regular services to over 20,000 city pairs in 2017, more than double the level of 1995.
“Such increases in direct services improve the industry’s efficiency by cutting costs and saving time for both travellers and shippers alike,” the association said.
OAG Aviation Worldwide Ltd recently named the KUL-SIN route as the world’s busiest international air route.
According to IATA, passenger airports within the Asia-Pacific region lead the lists for the top five international/regional passenger airports, again this year.
“In 2000, the average citizen flew just once every 43 months. In 2017, the figure was once every 22 months. Flying has never been more accessible.
And this is liberating people to explore more of our planet for work, leisure and education. Aviation is the business of freedom,” said IATA DG and CEO Alexandre de Juniac.
The top five domestic passenger airports also came from the Asia-Pacific region with the Jeju-Seoul Gimpo route topping the list with 13.5 million passengers in 2017, up 14.6% over 2016.
Airlines in the Asia Pacific carried the largest number of passengers with a 36.3% market share of 1.5 billion passengers in 2017, which saw an increase of 1.6% compared to the previous year.
The European region was second with 26.3% of the market share with 1.1 billion passengers, while North and Latin Americans accounted for 23% (941.8 million) and 7% (286.1 million) respectively.
The top five airlines ranked by total scheduled passenger kilometres flown are American Airlines Inc (324 million), Delta Air Lines Inc (316.3 million), United Airlines Inc (311 million), Emirates Airline (289 million) and Southwest Airlines Co (207.7 million).