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Asia is now world’s biggest air travel market

business Updated: Feb 01, 2010 23:20 IST
Bernice Han
Bernice Han
Hindustan Times
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The Asia-Pacific region has overtaken North America as the world’s largest air travel market with 647 million passengers in 2009, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said on Monday.

By contrast, 638 million people flew on commercial flights in North America last year, IATA said on the eve of the Singapore Airshow.

Within Asia, China has eclipsed Japan over the past decade as the region’s largest domestic market, with 1,400 aircraft compared with Japan’s 540 and 5.7 million weekly seats against 2.6 million in Japan.

IATA director general Giovanni Bisignani told the conference that the Asia-Pacific market would continue to grow rapidly with an estimated 217 million additional air passengers a year in the region by 2013.