African passenger numbers account for only two per cent of the global travel market, despite a 6 percent rise to 84 million African travellers, the latest edition of industry yearbook, IATA World Air Transport Statistics, indicates.
Globally, according to IATA, airlines saw a 7 per cent increase in passengers to 3.8 billion, with the Middle East air passenger traffic increasing 9.1 per cent to 206.1 million passengers in 2016.
Emirates airline carried 2.5 million tonnes of air freight on scheduled services, making it the world’s third biggest scheduled cargo airline after FedEx Express and United Parcel Service.
Asia-Pacific remained the dominant region for air travel, with 35 percent of the world market. The region’s 1.3 billion passengers in 2016 represented an 11.3 per cent rise on 2015.
Europe grew slower, with numbers of passengers up 6.1 per cent to 992.4 million, representing 26 per cent of the global market, with North America close behind, its 911.5 million passengers (a 3 percent increase) representing 24 per cent of the global market.
Latin America took 7 per cent of the market share, with 275.1 million passengers, a year-on-year increase of 1.8 per cent. The Middle East had 5 per cent of the global market.
US airlines held the top three places for scheduled domestic and international passengers, with China Southern and Ryanair of Ireland in fourth and fifth places, respectively.
Americans were the most-travelled, both internationally and domestically, with 810 million people travelling on US passports — 26 per cent of the total number of passengers worldwide.