The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said Wednesday its 20-Year Air Passenger Forecast shows that China will displace the United States as the world's largest aviation market in the mid-2020s.
The rebalancing of China's economy towards consumption will support strong passenger demand over the long term, said the IATA report, noting that the aviation market for China is defined as traffic to, from and within the country.
The IATA report revealed that present trends in air transport suggest global passenger numbers could double to 8.2 billion in 2037.
"Aviation is growing, and that is generating huge benefits for the world. A doubling of air passengers in the next 20 years could support 100 million jobs globally," said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA's Director General and CEO, in a statement here.
IATA warned, however, that growth prospects for air transport, and the economic benefits driven by aviation, "could be curtailed if protectionist measures are implemented by governments."
Over the next two decades, the forecast anticipates a 3.5 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR), leading to a doubling in passenger numbers from today's levels.
The Asia-Pacific region will drive the biggest growth with more than half the total number of new passengers over the next 20 years coming from these markets.
Growth in this market is being driven by a combination of continued robust economic growth, improvements in household incomes and favorable population and demographic profiles.
By 2020, India will take 3rd place after the United States, surpassing Britain around 2024.
Indonesia is forecast to be a standout performer, said IATA, climbing from the world's tenth largest aviation market in 2017 to the 4th largest by 2030.