SINGAPORE: Intra-Asia market eclipses NA as world’s largest

Intra-Asia-Pacific air travel eclipsed the number of travelers in North America as the world’s largest aviation market in 2009, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Asia-Pacific’s travelers numbered 647 million compared the 638 million who traveled within North America (including domestic markets). By 2013, an additional 217 million travelers are expected to take […]


Intra-Asia-Pacific air travel eclipsed the number of travelers in North America as the world’s largest aviation market in 2009, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA). Asia-Pacific’s travelers numbered 647 million compared the 638 million who traveled within North America (including domestic markets). By 2013, an additional 217 million travelers are expected to take to the skies within Asia–Pacific.

“Achieving Asia-Pacific’s tremendous potential is contingent upon shortterm efforts to battle the impacts of the economic downturn with cost reductions and efficiency gains. Longerterm Asia-Pacific must also face global challenges including environment, security and liberalisation,” said IATA’s director general and CEO, Giovanni Bisignani at the Singapore Air Show last month.

The global aviation industry is expected to reduce losses from US$11.0 billion in 2009 to US$5.6 billion in 2010, with the loss reduction led by Asia- Pacific’s carriers who are expected to see their losses shrink from US$3.4 billion in 2009 to US$700 million in 2010. “Asia- Pacific’s prospects are improving faster than other regions,” said Bisignani.

But he added that, “Asian aviation will not reach its potential if the airlines are constrained to old ways of doing business. Industry is preparing for regional liberalisation of market access with the ASEAN target date of 2015. It is important that the target date is met. This is already well-behind the industry leading developments in the US-EU Open Skies agreement. Second stage talks will conclude this year with ownership being the most important issue,” said Bisignani.