New outlook on worldwide air passenger demand [infographic]

Cyril Tetaz

Executive Vice President, Airlines, Asia Pacific, Amadeus

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This macro-level understanding of worldwide air passenger flows is built on the analysis of thousands of air travel O&Ds (Origin and Destination routes).

Today, we’re announcing our second analysis of global airline traffic trends. The study details the air passenger growth between regions and reveals that Asia is leading world travel growth moving more travellers than ever around the world. It also showed us that 8 out of the 10 top inter-city routes are in Asia-Pacific. None of them are in Europe or North America! You can see the growth patterns in the Global airline traffic trends infographic above.

Travel is closely linked with the economic performance - but also politicial environment - of a region, so some of the findings of the study are not a surprise if you follow the news. Yet, in the analysis, we also highlight other markets that might not have crossed your mind but still display important growth like Chile (21% growth).

This macro-level understanding of worldwide air passenger flows is built on the analysis of thousands of O&Ds (Origin and Destination routes). This powerful research is done with the Amadeus Total Demand tool, launched two years ago in partnership with airconomy, a strategy consultancy for aviation networks. The tool has enabled us to look into:

  • Connecting air traffic share versus point-to-point traffic
  • Fastest growing and shrinking travel markets
  • The world’s busiest inter-city routes

Amadeus Total Demand

takes into account air passenger flows between a given origin and final destination airport (O&D data), irrespective of the number of connecting stops. This means it can measure true traveller trends. What is great with Total Demand is that we can look at the big picture but also zoom down to the level of a single O&D and analyse, for instance, how many people fly direct or use a connection. We can also see the split between Economy and Premium cabins.

For instance, air traffic between Europe and the Middle East grew by 3% year on year, with more than 35 million air passengers. The #1 O&D in that region – London to Dubai posted 24% growth, while at the same time the 2nd largest (London – Tel Aviv) remained flat in air passenger terms.

A few things have changed since we launched our first global traffic trends analysis. Firstly, we have changed the approach of the analysis. The first time we looked at Q1 data over a period of two years. This time we analyse traveller data over a full year - 2011 compared to 2010 - which reduces seasonality differences from one region to another.

The second change is that Amadeus acquired airconomyearlier in the year. The airconomy team is based at Frankfurt airport; it is a small team which, despite of its size, brings a huge amount of knowledge to the Amadeus travel intelligence business.  The team is now fully integrated within Amadeus and acts as an incubator for other travel intelligence products. We’ll keep you posted on the air traffic analysis we will produce on a regular basis as well as on the new prototypes we will develop with airconomy, to try to bring a different perspective to the travel industry.