Airline Weekly presented data from Diio Mi this week on the largest aviation markets in the world based on 2018 seat miles scheduled.
The U.S. is the world’s aviation largest market — by a lot. The EU as a whole is larger than Chinese market. The UK is the biggest aviation market in Europe, so perhaps Brexit will be what causes China to grow larger than Europe.
Japan is a bigger market than India, though a decade from now will that still be the case? India has nearly doubled in the past seven years. (So has China.)
Indonesia has more than doubled in the last seven years which is why it’s now a larger market than Italy which is far more mature.
International airline trade group IATA projected that China’s aviation market would outstrip the U.S.’s by 2022. I’ve been skeptical of that. China has been the next big thing for years and continues to be next. Chinese growth appears to be slowing.
That isn’t to say China isn’t important. Though there’s interest in the route authorities American Airlines is dropping by ending Chicago – Shanghai and Chicago – Beijing service on the whole US airlines have been losing interest in China — and that’s going to make it tough for Chinese carriers to overcome policy barriers and allow more flights.
Methodology matters a good bit here, since it’s not just number of flights or seats but factors distance. That boosts the ranking of the U.A.E. substantially.