New Delhi - India will become the world's third largest aviation market around 2024 surpassing the UK, global airlines' body IATA said on Wednesday as it projected total air passenger numbers to touch 8.2 billion in 2037.
Releasing the latest update to IATA's 20-year Air Passenger Forecast, the grouping also cautioned that growth prospects for air transport and the economic benefits driven by aviation could be curtailed if protectionist measures are implemented by governments.
The present trends in air transport suggest passenger numbers could double to 8.2 billion in 2037, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said.
The Asia-Pacific region is projected to drive the biggest growth with more than half the total number of new passengers over the next 20 years coming from these markets.
The growth is being driven by a combination of continued robust economic growth, improvements in household incomes and favourable population and demographic profiles, it noted.
According to the IATA, China would displace the United States as the world's largest aviation market in the mid-2020s.
Aviation market is defined in terms of traffic to, from and within a country, as per the grouping.
"India will take 3rd place after the US, surpassing the UK around 2024. Indonesia is forecast to be a standout performer - climbing from the world's 10th largest aviation market in 2017 to the 4th largest by 2030," it said.
IATA Director General and CEO Alexandre de Juniac said a doubling of air passengers in the next 20 years could support 100 million jobs globally, adding that it is seeing a geographical reshuffling of world air traffic to the East.