Air Transport Plays a Bigger Role in Global Economy, Says ATAG

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A new report entitled “Aviation: Benefits Beyond Borders” by the Air Transport Action Group (ATAG) and Oxford Economics shows that over 56 million jobs worldwide and $2.2 trillion in GDP are supported by aviation. This report, which was disclosed at the global Aviation & Environment Summit in Geneva, was posted on the Realwire site.

According to this report, aviation is an industry that plays a larger role in the global economy than many would expect.

In a statement, Paul Steele, executive director of ATAG, said, “It’s a fascinating look at the scope of the aviation industry and our role in the world.”

“When you realize that aviation, if it were a country, would be the 19th largest economy in the world, supporting 56.6 million jobs and over two trillion dollars in economic impact, you really see the scale of air transport,” added Steele.

As per the study, of the 56.6 million jobs supported by aviation, 8.4 million people are directly employed by the sector, 9.3 million jobs are at aviation industry suppliers and 4.4 million jobs are induced through spending by aviation industry employees. When tourism is taken into account, which is made possible by air transport, over 34.5 million jobs are included in this total, according to the ATAG report.

In another statement, Steele commented, “Of course, aviation’s economic benefits spread far beyond the monetary aspects outlined here. When you take into account the further benefits gained through the speed and reliability of air travel, the businesses that exist because air freight makes them possible and the intrinsic value to the economy of improved connectivity, the economic impact would be several times larger.”

Continuing, he stated, “While the numbers relating to passengers are impressive enough, with nearly 2.7 billion passengers carried in 2010, the figures for air freight emphasize the importance of this mode of transporting valuable and perishable goods. The $5.3 trillion worth of freight carried by air transport in 2010 represents some 35 percent of the value of global trade, despite it representing half a percent of the volume. Air transport is invaluable for the shipment of lightweight but valuable goods.”

Other facts revealed by this study shows that there are 1568 commercial airlines, 3846 commercial airports, 192 air traffic control providers and 23,844 aircrafts in service. While Asia-Pacific accounts for 34 percent of the passenger traffic worldwide, larger than both Europe and North America (both 27 percent), 35 percent of all international tourists travel by air. Also, the report indicates that the average occupancy in aircraft is 77 percent, much higher than other forms of transport.






Edited by Jennifer Russell
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