Emirates airline was among the world’s top five carriers in terms of passengers and air cargo flown last year, according to a new report from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
The data revealed Emirates flew 302.3 billion passenger kilometres, placing it in fourth place after American (330.6 billion), Delta (330 billion), and United (329.6 billion). The fifth place spot went to American carrier Southwest, with 214.6 billion passenger kilometres.
When it came to cargo freight tonne kilometres, Emirates came in second place in the rankings with 12.7 billion, compared to 17.5 billion for Federal Express.
Across the Middle East, the IATA data shows that regional airlines carried 224 million passengers last year, a 4 percent increase from 2017. The region held a 5.1 percent market share, placing it in fifth place after Asia-Pacific (37.1 percent), Europe (26.2 percent), North America (22.6 percent) and Latin America (6.9 percent).
Around the world, a total of 4.4 billion passengers flew in 2018, 6.9 percent more than the previous year. The increase in passenger numbers led to a record 81.9 percent occupancy rate across airlines.
The IATA report also found that the most frequent travellers were British nationals (8.6 percent of all passengers), slightly more than Americans (7.6 percent), Chinese (6.6 percent), Germans (6.4 percent) and French (4.1 percent).
“Airlines are connecting more people and places than ever before. The freedom to fly is more accessible than ever. And our world is a more prosperous place as a result,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director general and CEO.
De Juniac added that the rising passenger numbers come with an environmental cost that airlines are committing to reducing.
“We understand that sustainability is essential to our license to spread aviation’s benefits,” he said. “By 2050, we will cut our net carbon footprint to half 2005 levels. This ambitious climate action goal needs government support. It is critical for sustainable aviation fuels, new technology and more efficient routes to deliver the greener future we are aiming for.”For all the latest transport news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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