Kuwait will be one of the first fastest growing aviation markets over the next 20 years when the Middle East will see an extra 237 million passengers, according to a new report by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
IATA said Kuwait, Central African Republic, Madagascar, Tanzania and Burundi will grow faster in percentage terms than anywhere else in the world by 2034.
The report said the Middle East will grow strongly (4.9 percent) and will see an extra 237 million passengers a year on routes to, from and within the region by 2034.
The UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia will all enjoy strong growth of 5.6 percent, 4.8 percent, and 4.6 percent respectively. The total market size will be 383 million passengers.
In terms of country-pairs, Asian and South American destinations will see the fastest growth, reflecting economic and demographic growth in those markets, IATA said.
Intra-Pakistan, Kuwait-Thailand, UAE-Ethiopia, Colombia-Ecuador and intra-Honduras travel will all grow by at least 9.5 percent on average for the next 20 years, while Indonesia-East Timor will be the fastest growing pair of all, at 14.9 percent, IATA added.
The five fastest-increasing markets in terms of additional passengers per year will be China (856 million new passengers per year), the US (559 million), India (266 million), Indonesia (183 million) and Brazil (170 million).
IATA's first 20-year passenger growth forecast projects that global passenger numbers are expected to reach 7.3 billion by 2034.
That represents a 4.1 percent average annual growth in demand for air connectivity that will result in more than a doubling of the 3.3 billion passengers expected to travel this year.
The report said China will overtake the United States as the world’s largest passenger market with flights to, from and within China accounting for some 1.3 billion passengers, 856 million more than 2014.
Tony Tyler, IATA’s director general and CEO, said: "It is an exciting prospect to think that in the next 20 years more than twice as many passengers as today will have the chance to fly.
"Air connectivity on this scale will help transform economic opportunities for millions of people. At present, aviation helps sustain 58 million jobs and $2.4 trillion in economic activity. In 20 years’ time we can expect aviation to be supporting around 105 million jobs and $6 trillion in GDP."
The report said the United States will remain the largest air passenger market until around 2030, when it will drop to number 2, behind China.
Currently the ninth largest market, India will see a total of 367 million passengers by 2034, an extra 266 million annual passengers compared to today. It will overtake the United Kingdom (148 million extra passengers, total market 337 million) to become the third largest market around 2031.
Reflecting a declining and ageing population, Japanese air passenger numbers will grow just 1.3 percent per year and decline from the fourth largest market in 2014 to the ninth largest by 2033.
Germany and Spain will decline from fifth and sixth position in 2014 to be the eighth and seventh largest markets respectively.
France will fall from seventh to 10th while Italy will fall out of the top 10 altogether in around 2019.
Brazil will increase passenger numbers by 170 million and rise from 10th to fifth. Its total market will be 272 million passengers.
Indonesia will enter the top ten around 2020 and attain sixth place by 2029. By 2034 it will be a market of 270 million passengers.