By Chinedu Eze
Â The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has announced that it expects 7.8 billion passengers to travel in 2036, a near doubling of the four billion air travelers expected to fly this year.
The world body said the prediction was based on a 3.6% average Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) noted in the release of the latest update to the associationâ€™s 20-year air passenger forecast.
“All indicators lead to growing demand for global connectivity. The world needs to prepare for a doubling of passengers in the next 20 years. Itâ€™s fantastic news for innovation and prosperity, which is driven by air links. It is also a huge challenge for governments and industry to ensure we can successfully meet this essential demand,” said IATAâ€™s Director General and CEO, Alexandre de Juniac.
IATA saidÂ the biggest driver of demand would be the Asia-Pacific region, noting that the region would be the source of more than half the new passengers over the next two decades.
At this point, China would displace the United States as the worldâ€™s largest aviation market (defined as traffic to, from and within the country), IATA added, noting that this has moved two years closer since last yearâ€™s forecast.
â€œWe now anticipate this will occur around 2022, through a combination of slightly faster Chinese growth and slightly reduced growth in the US. The UK will fall to fifth place, surpassed by India in 2025, and Indonesia in 2030. Thailand and Turkey will enter the top ten largest markets, while France and Italy will fall in the rankings to 11th and 12th respectively.
The world air transport body said a number of risks to the forecast had been identified, remarking that maximising the potential benefits of aviation growth would depend on current levels of trade liberalisation and visa facilitation being maintained.
â€œIf trade protectionism and travel restrictions are put in place, the benefits of air connectivity will decline as growth could slow to 2.7 percent, meaning 1.1 billion fewer passenger journeys annually in 2036. Conversely, if moves towards liberalisation increase, annual growth could be more than two percentage points faster, leading to a tripling in passengers over the next 20 years,â€ IATA said.
The agency said planning for growth will require partnerships to be strengthened between the aviation industry, communities and governments to expand and modernise infrastructure. Runways, terminals, and ground access to airports will come under increasing strain.
It noted that innovative solutions to these challenges, as well as to the baggage and security processes, cargo handling, and other activities, will also be needed. And air traffic management needs urgent reform to cut delays, costs and emissions.
“Increasing demand will bring a significant infrastructure challenge. The solution does not lie in more complex processes or building bigger and bigger airports but in harnessing the power of new technology to move activity off-airport, streamline processes and improve efficiency. Through partnerships within the industry and beyond, we are confident that sustainable solutions for continued growth can be found,” said de Juniac.
The aviation industry has adopted a robust strategy to reduce its environmental impacts, particularly its carbon emissions. “No industry has done more to meet its environmental obligations than aviation. Our tough targets to achieve carbon-neutral growth from 2020 and to cut our CO2 emissions to half-2005 levels by 2050 are backed by a comprehensive strategy. Our immediate aims are to work with governments to increase the production of sustainable aviation fuels, and to deliver air traffic management efficiencies, which promise significant emissions savings. And from 2020, a Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) will play a major role in meeting our carbon-neutral target,” said de Juniac.
Overland Airways Resumes Asaba-Abuja Flights
Overland Airways, Nigeriaâ€™s frontline carrier has announced the start of its flight services from Abuja to Asaba, Delta State from October 31, 2017. The Asaba-Abuja fights, according to the airline, would operate three times a week, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays at 12:00 p.m.; while the Abuja-Asaba flights will operate at 10:30a.m. on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.
The flight services will be operated with Overland Airways globally renowned ATR turboprop aircraft with superior technological design for unmatched performance on short-distance flights in terms of economic reliability, safety and comfort.
Overland Airways is Nigeriaâ€™s longest-serving most consistent scheduled commercial airline providing uninterrupted flight services in Nigeria over the past 15 years. With expanding routes including Lagos, Ilorin, Asaba, Abuja, Dutse, Minna, Bauchi, Jalingo, Akure and Ibadan, Overland Airways looks to begin regional flights in West African soon.
Overland Airways fills the gap in flight connectivity between Asaba and Abuja, thereby easing the inconvenience of passengers face on the route and providing strong support to the economy in Delta State and surrounding regions.
According to Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Overland Airways, Capt. Edward Boyo, the economic recovery in the nation requires strong commitment among all stakeholders to reinvigorate the economy.
He said: â€œMore so, the accelerated development of the economy of Delta State is strategic to the development ofÂ the economies of various regions in the country especially the South-East and South-South regions, which makes air transport an important element for the development Delta State.
â€œDelta State is endowed with great human and other resources which should be carefully harnessed by both the government and the private sector. Overland Airways is dedicated to creating new high-value for the indigenes and visitors to Delta State by providing our trademark excellent, reliable, safe and comfortable air services to Asaba.
â€œWe understand the value of investments and easy access into hinterland economies like Delta State. And we are confident of driving sustainable social and economic development in Delta State as Overland Airways supports the easy movement of investors, tourists, traders and business people to and from Delta State and the adjoining regions such as Onitsha across the Niger. We are in partnership with the people of Delta State. And this is a partnership that works.â€
The Chief Operating Officer of Overland Airways, Mrs. Aanu Benson, said: â€œOverland Airways performed the first-ever flight which opened Asaba Airport in 2011 as a foremost partner in the economic transformation of Delta State, and in celebration and support of the enterprising people of â€˜The Big Heartâ€™ State. The launch of the Asaba-Abuja flights demonstrates the renewed bonding Overland Airways brings to the people of Delta State and its environs, underlain by Overland Airwaysâ€™ characteristic people-oriented flight services.â€
â€œWith a modern fleet of 10 aircraft, superior technical and management capabilities as well as unmatched commitment to the sustainable development of Nigeriaâ€™s remote economies and airports, Overland Airways is one of the best airlines in the world today. And this is another plus for Delta State and its environs.â€