Facts & figures


87.7 million jobs

Nearly 88 million jobs were supported worldwide in aviation and related tourism before Covid-19 hit the industry.

11.3 million direct jobs

The air transport industry provided 11.3 million direct jobs in 2019. Airlines, air navigation service providers and airports directly employed nearly 4.5 million people, and the civil aerospace sector, which manufactures aircraft systems, frames and engines, employed 1.3 million people. A further 5.5 million people worked in other on-airport positions.

18.1 million indirect jobs

There were 18.1 million indirect jobs generated through the purchases of goods and services from companies in the air transport industry supply chain.

13.5 million induced jobs

Industry employees supported 13.5 million induced jobs through the spending of wages.

44.8 million tourism jobs

Aviation-enabled tourism generated around 44.8 million jobs globally.


4.5 billion passengers

In 2019, 4.5 billion passengers were carried by the world's airlines (1.9 billion international passengers and 2.6 billion domestic passengers).

46.8 million flights

In 2019, 46.8 million scheduled commercial flights took place worldwide.

8.68 trillion RPK

8.68 trillion Revenue Passenger Kilometres (RPK) were flown by passengers in 2019.

61 million tonnes

Nearly 61 million tonnes of cargo were carried by air in 2019.

1,478 airlines

In 2019, 1,478 airlines operate a fleet of 33,299 commercial aircraft in service, through a route network of several million km managed by 162 air navigation service providers.

3,780 airports

There are 3,780 airports with scheduled commercial flights in the world.

48,044 routes

In 2019, 48‚044 routes were served globally. Of these, 21,187 are unique city pairs.


17th GDP worldwide

If aviation were a country, it would rank 17th in the world in terms of gross domestic product (GDP), generating $961.3 billion of GDP per year, considerably larger than some members of the G20 (and around the same size as Indonesia or the Netherlands).

It is forecast that aviation will directly contribute $1.7 trillion to world GDP by 2038.

4.3x higher

Worldwide, the amount contributed to the global economy by aviation jobs is roughly 4.3 times higher than that contributed by other jobs. In 2019, globally, each aviation job generated $117,000 in gross value added.

$3.5 trillion

Aviation's global economic impact, including direct, indirect, induced and tourism catalytic is $3.5 trillion.


While air transport carries around 1% of the volume of world trade shipments, it represents over 35% by value – meaning that goods shipped by air are very high value commodities and often perishable or time-sensitive.

Deliveries of fresh produce from Africa to the UK alone supports the livelihoods of 1.5 million people, while producing less CO2 than similar produce grown in the UK, despite the energy used in transport.


The overall contribution to global GDP that is supported by aviation is 4.1%

Environmental performance

Net zero carbon emissions

The global aviation industry has a goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050, supported by accelerated efficiency measures, energy transition and innovation across the aviation sector in partnership with governments around the world.

914 million tonnes

Worldwide, flights produced 914 million tonnes of CO2 in 2019. Globally, humans produced over 43 billion tonnes of CO2.

3 litres per 100 PK

The Airbus A380 and A220, Boeing 787, ATR-600 and Embraer E2 aircraft use less than 3 litres of jet fuel per 100 passenger kilometres. This matches the efficiency of most modern compact cars.

80 million

Since 2000, the retro-fitting of winglet devices on aircraft has meant 80 million tonnes of CO2 have been avoided.

11 billion

Over 11 billion tonnes of CO2 emissions were avoided between 1990 and 2020 through a combination of new technology, operational efficiencies and infrastructure improvements.


The global aviation industry produces around 2.1% of all human-induced CO2 emissions.


Aviation is responsible for 12% of CO2 emissions from all transports sources, compared to 74% from road transport.


Jet aircraft in service today are well over 80% more fuel efficient per seat kilometre than the first jets in the 1950s.


Around 80% of aviation CO2 emissions are emitted from flights of over 1,500 kilometres, for which there is no practical alternative mode of transport.


The average aircraft occupancy in 2019 was 82.5%, which is far higher than for other modes of transport.


There has been a 75% reduction in perceived noise since the first jets.

Sustainable aviation fuel (SAF)

$45 billion in SAF purchase agreements

Global policy developments are making SAF a more important strategic consideration for aircraft operators which has resulted in major forward purchase agreements. As of early 2023, around $45 billion in SAF purchase agreements had been made by airlines (compared to $6 billion pre-Covid).

20 Mt SAF

20 Mt SAF uptake by 2030 could be possible under industry proposed and committed policies.

69 airports with SAF

69 airports worldwide have regular supplies of SAF.

50 airlines

50 airlines have committed to 2030 SAF goals ranging from 5-30% of their total fuel usage, with most of them committing to 10%.

7 SAF production pathways

There are currently seven SAF production pathways approved by ASTM International with each pathway representing different processes for production depending on the type of feedstocks.

14 million jobs

It is estimated that up to 14 million jobs could be created or sustained by the shift to SAF, creating new energy industries in almost every country throughout the world.

$1.5 trillion investment needed

To enable sufficient SAF supply in order to achieve the net-zero 2050 goal, the capital investment required has been estimated at some $1.5 trillion over 30 years – or 6% of traditional oil and gas capital expenditure when averaged out each year.


Aviation fuel should be 5% less carbon intensive by 2030, compared to today’s fossil fuels, as part of a gradual shift towards SAF and lower carbon aviation fuels.


Alternative fuels, particularly sustainable aviation fuels (SAF), have been identified as excellent candidates for helping achieve aviation's climate targets. SAF-derived sources such as algae, jatropha or waste by-products have been shown to reduce the carbon footprint of aviation fuel by up to 80% over their full lifecycle.


Today, SAF is blended with conventional kerosene in ratios of up to 50% to ensure compatibility with aircraft, engines and fuelling systems.


The major airframe and engine manufacturers are working to ensure that all aircraft can safely operate on 100% SAF by around 2030.