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Fasten Your Seatbelts, Air Travel in Asia is Taking Off
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Fasten Your Seatbelts, Air Travel in Asia is Taking Off

As the aviation industry continues to expand rapidly over the next two decades, growing demand for airline seats will outstrip the supply of qualified pilots. The biggest shortage will be in Asia where airlines have more new planes on order than anywhere else.

Economic growth and rising incomes across the region are fuelling unparalleled growth in business and leisure travel. Airlines in Asia-Pacific already account for over a third of current global passenger numbers and that market share is set to increase. The region had almost 280 million international arrivals in 2015.

To meet demand, aircraft manufacturer Boeing forecasts airlines in Asia will require an additional 261,000 pilots and 317,000 cabin crew by 2037.

The airline sector in Asia is growing faster than in any other region. Image: Statista
The airline sector in Asia is growing faster than in any other region. Image: Statista

China is spearheading the region’s air travel boom and is set to overtake the US as the world’s largest aviation market by 2030, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

As with China, India’s emerging middle class is driving a rapid expansion of the airline industry and the country is set to become the third-fastest increasing market in terms of additional passengers per year. 

IATA forecasts India’s air passenger traffic will triple by 2036.

Indonesia’s Tourism Appeal

Along with China and India, Indonesia is also turning into an Asian aviation powerhouse.

A burgeoning domestic tourism industry on the island of East Java, coupled with the lure of Bali’s exotic beaches for overseas holidaymakers, have expanded passenger numbers at key airports.

Asia's demand for pilots is sky high. Image: Reuters/Amy Song
Asia's demand for pilots is sky high. Image: Reuters/Amy Song



IATA forecasts Indonesia will see 183 million new passengers by 2034, making it the fourth-fastest growing aviation market after China (856 million new passengers), the US (559 million) and India (266 million). And Indonesia will also become the world’s fifth-largest domestic aviation market.

Such unprecedented growth in demand for flights will increase connectivity between Asian countries and destinations around the world, with obvious benefits for their economies. But it also brings challenges.

As well as more pilots and planes, the world will need new airports along with all the supporting infrastructure, and this will require government policies that are sympathetic to future aviation growth.


Source : World Economic Forum

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