Growth countries shun established aviation markets

Demand from business travellers has helped boost aviation markets in developing nations, which are growing at a faster rate than established regions such as North America and Europe.

Figures from Airports Council International show global traffic increased by 4% last year thanks to growth in new markets. Traffic in Asia was up by 7.5%, and similar levels were achieved in Asia, Latin America, Africa and the Middle East. Five airports in emerging markets -  Istanbul, Dubai, Jakarta, Bangkok and Singapore - all reported double-digit growth.

In order to capitalise on the increasing passenger numbers, major cities are making infrastructure improvements in an attempt to become modern transportation hubs. Istanbul is successfully refashioning itself as a contemporary aviation centre, boasting better connections to Asia than rivals in the US or Europe. Beijing and Shanghai, along with the more established Dubai airport, are also looking to attract foreign travelers with gleaming and spacious new international terminals.

Business travellers are expected to spend in the region of $1.16 trillion on airfare, accommodations and other travel this year, the Global Business Travel Association has revealed, up from $1.07 trillion last year. Tony Davis, a partner at Irelandia Aviation, told the Economic Times of India that the travel boom has spurred major cities into thinking: “if we build it, they will come.”

China business travel is by far the most robust, growing at an average of 5.5% each year from 2000 to 2013 and is set to reach $226 billion this year. This trend will continue into 2014 when the market is expected to grow by nearly 17%, overtaking the US to become the world’s top business travel market.

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