THE 2017 aviation industry statistics have been released by IATA, and to say they are staggering is an
understatement. First, and the one that is really critical to the future of the aviation industry and the ongoing viability of airlines, is the profit number. An estimate of US$38 billion (IATA, net post-tax profit)
was generated by the airline sector, representing the third consecutive year of strong financial performance by airlines.
It is believed that the healthy global economy and strong demand has assisted the industry to do so well. I would also suggest that in a great deal of cases, the airlines have taken a significantly different approach to how they run their companies, and this is showing healthy outcomes for all concerned. On the demand side, passenger numbers are up, and up in a big way. Our own region, the Asia/Pacific is up some 13.2%, with some 605.5 million Chinese taking the skies in 2017. It is a staggering amount of people.
In terms of airlines, American Airlines topped the overall number of passengers, with 323,968 million passenger movements in the 12 months, with Delta, United, Emirates and Southwest Airlines closing out the top five airlines by number of passenger movements. Not surprisingly, China Southern Airlines, China Eastern Airlines and Air China were all in the top 10 by passenger movement numbers, with only Ryanair being the stand out low cost.
Lufthansa closed out the top 10 by passenger traffic. The other amazing number is that there are now some 20,000 city pairs on offer to the travelling public. It is almost impossible to think that there are that many places which can be paired, providing an abundance of choice for consumers in this modern era of flying. So to suggest that things are not good in the world of aviation given the size of the global market, the diversity of choice, the ever increasingly modern aircraft and efficiency options available would mean
that a tighter focus is needed on how to ensure you are getting your share of this ride.
Long may it continue – but as we all know, things can change quickly in this world. At least for now, we can be happy that the aviation sector is in good shape.