ACI Forecasts Return to Pre-Pandemic Levels by Year-end – Airways | Airlines

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DALLAS — By the end of 2024, worldwide passenger traffic is expected to surpass 9.7 billion, breaking the pre-pandemic 2019 record for the first time, according to Airports Council International (ACI) World.

The airport council released its annual World Airport Traffic Forecasts (WATF) 2023–2052 dataset, which projects that by 2024, domestic passenger traffic will reach 5.7 billion, while international passenger traffic will exceed 4 billion.

ACI’s research suggests that there will be a steady increase in the number of passengers over the coming years. Between 2023 and 2042, the passenger growth rate is projected to be at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of +4.3%, and between 2042 and 2052, it is expected to be at a CAGR of +3.6%.

This growth will significantly increase global passenger traffic, nearly doubling between 2024 and 2042 and increasing by 2.5 times by 2052. Furthermore, the annual WATF 2023–2052 dataset reveals the top 20 markets for air travel demand, a significant finding in the air traffic industry.

The ACI table below shows the top 20 markets by total passenger traffic forecast in ten-year jumps. China looks to surpass the US within a decade, and the UK is set to drop to eighth place from fifth, overtaken by Japan and Turkey. Italy, Germany, and the UAE also see similar drops.

Top 20 markets for air travel demand forecast according to latest ACI World data. List: ACI.

Rapid Economic Development, New Infrastructure


According to ACI World Director General Luis Felipe de Oliveira, in the long term, the dynamics of the worldwide passenger market are expected to shift from advanced economies to emerging and developing ones. This shift is driven by significant urbanization, population growth, and rapid economic development in these regions.

These factors, in turn, will positively impact disposable income and the willingness to travel among the population. ACI emphasized in its report the importance of…

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