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Asia leads world’s growth in travel: Amadeus Total Demand analysis

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Asia leads the world’s growth in travel and holds seven out of the ten busiest inter-city routes. In addition to the BRIC markets, Indonesia, the Philippines and Chile showed growth, according to analysis by the market intelligence solution Amadeus Total Demand. The review looks at trends in worldwide passenger demand between regions, countries and specific airports, comparing the full 2011 passenger volumes with 2010 data. All figures relate to passengers travelling between a given origin and final destination airport, irrespective of the number of connecting stops.

The most important inter-regional growth patterns of last year are led by Asia. Traffic between Asia and Europe, and between Asia and North America, grew by nine per cent. Traffic between Asia and the Middle East grew six per cent reaching 38 million travellers in the year. Compared with the previous year, two per cent fewer passengers travelled between Africa and Europe in 2011; this was the only region pair with a significant traffic flow decrease over the period.

Traffic between North America and Europe remains the busiest inter-regional flow with over 60 million passengers in 2011, followed by Asia and Europe with over 53 million, and Latin America and North America with 47 million passengers.

David Brett, president, Amadeus Asia Pacific said that the global findings are a striking reaffirmation of the rapid growth in the travel industry which we are currently seeing across Asia Pacific. “To hold seven of the world’s top ten inter-city routes all within the domestic borders of Asian countries is testament to the significant role APAC plays within the global travel market today. Amadeus is committed to delivering world-class solutions that help our customers get the most out of this expanding market and continue to grow their business,” added Brett.

In terms of connecting traffic, over 50 per cent of all passengers in the triangle between Asia, Europe and North America change aircraft at least once. On the other hand, only seven per cent of all passengers travelling within Asia travel with a connecting flight, compared to 10 per cent in Europe and 31 per cent in North America. The largest airports in Asia have a lower percentage of connecting traffic than the North American and European hubs. The average connecting rate of the ten busiest airports in Asia is 19 per cent compared with 32 per cent for the top ten hubs in Europe and 45 per cent in North America.

The 2011 country statistics reveal, that the strongest growth in absolute passengers is led by the BRIC countries. China registered an additional 19 million in 2011 than 2010, Brazil, 12 million, India 8 million and Russia 6 million. Indonesia was the 5th strongest growth market with an additional 5 million passengers in 2011.

Brazil (17 per cent), India (13 per cent) and Russia (15 per cent) also featured in the top ten fastest-growing countries by percentage growth. Chile (21 per cent), the Philippines (15 per cent) and Indonesia (11 per cent) are also among the fastest growing travel markets. Egypt and Japan are among the fastest shrinking markets, probably due to the Arab Spring and the Tsunami.

Countries showing highest percentage growth in passengers between 2010 and 2011 (excluding markets with fewer than 5 million annual passengers)

CountryPax 2011 (000s)Growth vs 2010
Russian Federation44,54115%
Saudi Arabia23,34515%

It is interesting to note that the strongest traffic in between cities takes place within the same country. From the world’s top ten inter-city routes, seven are within the domestic borders of Asian countries, out of which three are in Japan. In terms of volume, the route between Jeju and Seoul is the most important (almost 10 million passengers) followed by Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo (circa 8 million passengers).

Top world inter-city routes

Inter-city routeRank
AsiaJeju – Seoul1
South AmericaRio de Janeiro – Sao Paulo2
AsiaOsaka – Tokyo3
AsiaSapporo – Tokyo4
South West PacificMelbourne – Sydney5
AsiaFukuoka – Tokyo6
AsiaBeijing – Shanghai7
AsiaHong Kong – Taipei8
AfricaCape Town – Johannesburg9
AsiaMumbai – Delhi10