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International Air Travel Grew 4.5 Percent in 2019

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Data from a new study found that international air travel grew by 4.5 percent last year.

According to ForwardKeys.com, the increase of 4.5 percent in 2019 was significantly slower than the six-percent growth experienced in 2018 and the average over the last decade of 6.8 percent per year.

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While the increase was less than expected last year, early projections for the first three months of 2020 are more optimistic, with bookings growing by 8.3 percent when compared to the same period in 2019.

“Usually, aviation grows around three percentage points ahead of global GDP,” ForwardKeys vice president Olivier Ponti said in a statement.

“However, in the past year, we have seen several events which have held back growth,” Ponti continued. “These include US trade disputes with Canada, China, Mexico and the EU, riots in Chile, France, Hong Kong and India, the grounding of the relatively new Boeing 737 Max aircraft, terrorism in Sri Lanka, the emergence of ‘flight shaming’ and the bankruptcy of Jet Airways.”

The region that increased the most in 2019 was Asia Pacific, which saw international outbound travel grow by 7.7 percent thanks to the economic success of several countries in the area.

On the other hand, international departures from the Middle East were down by 2.4 percent.

In the United States, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) broke records over the holidays, screening more than 43.8 million passengers and crew members during the Christmas/New Year’s travel period.

The record-breaking numbers are a four percent increase from the holiday period of 2018.

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