QUESTION FOR THE WEEK: What were the top five nationalities of global passengers travelling on international routes last year?

In our new weekly series to break up those Monday morning office blues, The Blue Swan Daily will be testing your knowledge and insight into the aviation and travel industry. This is all just for fun, but who knows? We may be able to find a prize somewhere around CAPA HQ. This week’s question is detailed below. The answers will be revealed and winners (if there are any correct entries) announced next week alongside our next question.


The headline in the International Air Transport Association (IATA) World Air Transport Statistics (2019 WATS) performance figures for 2018 was that global air connectivity continues to become more accessible and more efficient. The IATA confirmed that 4.4 billion passengers flew in 2018; record efficiency was achieved with 81.9% of available seats being filled; 22,000 city pairs are now connected by direct flights, up 1,300 over 2017 and double the 10,250 city pairs connected in 1998; and that the real cost of air transport has more than halved over the last 20 years (to around USD0.78 per revenue tonne-kilometre, or RTK.

The annual publication provides some interesting insights on the industry. The passenger count was an increase of +6.9% over 2017, representing an additional 284 million trips by air. Airlines in the Asia-Pacific region once again carried the largest number of passengers systemwide with a 37.1% market share (1.6 billion passengers, an increase of 9.2% compared to the region’s passengers in 2017). This was ahead of Europe (26.2%), North America (22.6%), Latin America (6.9%), Middle East (5.1%) and Africa (2.1%)

The report also highlights that the development of the LCC segment continues to outpace that of network carriers. Measured in ASKs (available seat kilometres), LCC capacity grew by +13.4%, almost doubling the overall industry growth rate. LCCs accounted for 21% of global capacity in 2018, up from just 11% in 2004. When looking at available seats, the global share of LCCs in 2018 was 29%, reflecting the short-haul nature of their business model. This is up from 16% in 2004.

IATA’s 2019 WATS also delivers breakdowns of the world’s top five airlines (dominated by US carriers, but also including Emirates Airline), the largest domestic and international city pairs (all in Asia-Pacific) and interesting information on the top five nationalities travelling globally on international routes, based on passport nationality for non-stop passengers.

Our QUESTION OF THE WEEK is… What were the top five nationalities of global passengers travelling on international routes last year?

JOIN IN THE FUN:  Send your answers to: The Blue Swan Daily Content Team

We will be revealing the answers at the same time next week, when we will be setting another question.


Last week we asked…What were the ten largest meeting destinations in Europe in 2018 according to Cvent’s Top Meeting Destinations?

Topping the list of European cities was London, ahead of (in descending order) Barcelona, Berlin, Amsterdam, Madrid, Paris, Frankfurt, Rome, Munich and Lisbon.

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