The Asia Pacific region is the largest global aviation market in the world, according to new data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
Releasing its World Air Transport Statistics (WATS) for 2014, IATA found that 42% of international traffic travelled to, from or within the Asia Pacific region last year.
And airlines based in the Asia Pacific region carried 33% of total global passengers in 2014, while the five busiest international and domestic routes were all in Asia Pacific.
Airlines around the world carried a total of 3.3 billion passengers on scheduled flights in 2014, an increase of 5.8% compared to the previous year. 1.1bn of the total were carried by Asia Pacific-based airlines, giving the region a 33.3% total share of traffic. Europe (873.4 million passengers, 26.3% share) was second and North America (841.8m, 25.3%) third.
Passenger traffic in Asia Pacific also increased 8% in 2014 – the highest rate of growth of any region apart from the Middle East (+10% to 173m passengers).
The top five international passenger routes last year were Hong Kong-Taipei (5.1m passengers),Jakarta-Singapore (3.5m), Hong Kong-Singapore (2.8m), Hong Kong-Shanghai (2.7m) and Hong Kong-Seoul (2.5m).
The top five domestic routes were also all in the Asia Pacific region: Jeju-Seoul (10.5m),Fukuoka-Tokyo (8.3m), Sapporo-Tokyo (7.8m), Melbourne-Sydney (7.0m) and Beijing-Shanghai (5.8m).
Delta Air Lines (129.4m passengers) was found to be the world’s largest airline in terms of passenger traffic in 2014, while China Southern Airlines (100.7m) was Asia’s largest carrier.