|IATA tips Serbia to become Europe's fastest growing air market|
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) released its updated passenger growth forecast this week, projecting that passenger numbers are expected to reach seven billion by 2034 with a 3.8% average annual growth in demand. That is more than double the 3.3 billion who flew in 2014 and exactly twice as many as the 3.5 billion expected in 2015. The Association forecasts that Serbia will become Europe's fastest growing market in percentage terms over the next twenty years, with an average annual growth rate of 7 - 8%, doubling in size each decade. On a global scale, Serbia is expected to become the fifth fastest growing market in percentage terms in a list dominated by African nations. Besides Serbia, the top ten will be made up of Malawi, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, the Central African Republic, Tanzania, Uganda, Papua New Guinea, Ethiopia and Vietnam.
Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport has seen its passenger numbers increase over 105% when compared to ten years ago. The airport has recorded an average annual growth rate of 9% over the past decade. Furthermore, in 2014, it added an extra 1.1 million passengers (up 31%) compared to the year before. In 2015, the airport is expected to record more modest growth figures of up to 5%. During the past ten months, Serbia's two international airports handled a combined total of 4.196.051 passengers. Overall, Europe will have the slowest growth rate over the next twenty years, amounting to 2.7%, but will still cater for an additional 591 million passengers a year. The total market will be 1.4 billion passengers. The five fastest-increasing markets in terms of additional passengers per year over the forecast period will be China (758 million new passengers for a total of 1.196 billion), the United States (523 million new passengers for a total of 1.156 billion), India (275 million new passengers for a total of 378 million), Indonesia (132 million new passengers for a total of 219 million) and Brazil (104 million new passengers for a total of 202 million).
IATA’s Director General and CEO, Tony Tyler, says, “Economic and political events over the last year have impacted some of the fundamentals for growth. As a result, we expect some 400 million fewer people to be travelling in 2034 than we did at this time last year. Air transport is a critical part of the global economy and policy-makers should take note of its sensitivity. The economic impact of 400 million fewer travellers is significant. It is important that we don’t create additional headwinds with excessive taxation, onerous regulation or infrastructure deficiencies”. IATA has also pointed towards exciting prospects for the Iranian and Cuban markets following years of isolation. China is expected to overtake the United States as the world’s largest passenger market (defined by traffic to, from and within) by 2029. Japan, Spain, Germany and France will fall relative to their competitors, while Italy will exit the top ten largest passenger markets list.