The growth rates of air passenger traffic in India and China put the world’s two most populous countries in “a league of their own”, according to IATA.
Globally, domestic traffic (measured in revenue passenger kilometres, or RPK), increased by 5.6% YoY in October 2016, down from 7.0% in September. But the Indian and Chinese markets topped the domestic growth chart for the 11th consecutive month in October, with traffic growth of 22.7% and 14.1% respectively.
This growth is being driven by multiple factors, according to IATA, including “sizeable increases in consumer spending… and growing options for passengers”.
Both Indian and Chinese airlines have increased the number of airport pairs served in 2016, which “has the same stimulatory effect on demand as a cut in fares”, as it reduces journey times and eases travel. Average flight frequencies in China however, have actually declined compared to last year.
By contrast, the US domestic market – the world’s largest in terms of RPKs – expanded by just 1.7% year-on-year in October.
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