A total of 3.7 billion passengers took scheduled flights in 2016 –which amounts to almost half of the global population.
A preliminary data, released by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), shows a growth of 6.0% in 2016, compared to 2015. The number of worldwide scheduled flights rose to approximately 35 million. This means that the average scheduled flight carried approximately 106 passengers.
Despite its relatively sluggish growth, Europe still accounted for the largest share of international RPKs in 2016, with 36%. Asia Pacific was second with 29%, while the Middle East surged into third place with a 15% share, driven by the growth of the major Gulf carriers.
More than half of people of travelled across an international border last year were transported by air.
Low-cost carriers accounted for about 28% of the world total scheduled passengers in 2016, crossing the milestone of one billion passengers for the first time. LCCs in Europe represented 32% of total passengers carried by LCCs, followed by Asia Pacific (31%) and North America (25%). ICAO noted that the growth of LCCs was most notable in emerging economies.