After many years of continued growth in global air traffic, with more and more flights, passengers and flight connections, a slowdown is now becoming apparent. The number of passenger aircraft movements worldwide increased by only 1.5% in June—from 3.3 million in June 2018 to just under 3.4 million in June of this year. This is shown by the current Global Aviation Monitor (GAM) issued by the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR), which covers 3500 airports and 850 airlines across the globe.
For Germany, the study even shows a decline in air traffic of 1.7%.
With more than one million aircraft departures per month, Asia has been the world’s largest air transport market for several years. Approximately 30% of all flights take place there. After years of strong growth, however, the number of aircraft movements in the emerging continent is only growing by two to three percent compared with the previous year.
North America ranks second, with a total share of 27% of global air traffic. For some time now, only low growth rates of between two and three percent have been observed there.
With 832,000 take-offs per month and a share of 24.7%, Europe ranks third worldwide. In the last two years, the European market has slipped from an initial growth rate of five percent to just 1.2 percent.
For the third quarter of 2019, the DLR study predicts continued modest growth in flight movements—between one and two percent at the European and global level. In Germany, the researchers expect further stagnation.
In terms of the number of aircraft movements, American Airlines is the largest air carrier in the world, with more than 200,000 departures in June 2019 alone, followed by Delta Air Lines and United Airlines, all of which have grown strongly in the past due to acquisitions of other airlines.
The low-cost carriers Southwest Airlines, Ryanair and easyJet follow in fourth, fifth and eighth place respectively. In between, the major Asian airlines China Eastern and China Southern are ranked sixth and seventh respectively. With IndiGo, JetBlue and Azul, other low-cost carriers from various continents are among the 25 largest airlines in the world.