According to an AP report today, air travel is expected to climb to 3.5 billion passengers worldwide by 2014 as rapid growth in Asia drives passengers numbers upward.
Asia will likely account for 45 percent of the 800 million increase in air travelers between 2009 and 2014, IATA Chief Executive Giovanni Bisignani said at a news conference. China will be the fastest growing market for international passengers, followed by the United Arab Emirates, Vietnam and Malaysia, Bisignani said.
Asian carriers should earn about $4.6 billion this year compared with just $100 million of profit for their European competitors, reflecting the gap between the economic growth rates of the two regions, Bisignani said.
Both Airbus and Boeing, the world’s two largest commercial plane makers, have concentrated efforts on Asia in recent years as economic growth is expected to significantly boost air travel over the coming decades in those regions. With 800 million additional passengers by 2014, expect orders to increase, particularly in developing countries such as China and India.