Think Airports Are Crowded Now? Wait Until 2040.

Nov 1, 2018

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Do you have TSA Precheck? You’re going to need it — within the next 20 or so years, at least.

Why, you ask? Well, according to the Airports Council International, by 2040, there will be a total of 20.9 billion trips taken by air travelers worldwide — which is 12.7 billion more than the number of passenger trips taken in 2017. Overall, passenger growth throughout the globe has a projected growth rate of an average of 4.3% per year. ACI’s data covers 110 countries worldwide. The metrics include projected total passengers (both international and domestic traffic), total air cargo and total aircraft movements up to 2040.

The bulk of this increase is said to be Chinese passengers, who are predicted to represent a 19% chunk of the global passenger traffic market with just under 4 billion air-travelers. The country alone is said to grow at a 5.5% annual passenger growth rate. That is high, and with China’s massive population, that is a lot of flyers.

But a few other countries edge out China for fastest growing numbers of air passengers in the world. The top four are: Vietnam (7.8%), India (6.8%), Saudi Arabia (6.2%) and the United Arab Emirates (5.7%).

Following China for the projected amount of air-travelers in 2040 are the US and India, with 3.1 billion and 1.3 billion passengers, respectively. When all three countries are grouped together, they comprise up to 40% of global passenger traffic.

“Passenger numbers are set to surpass 8.7 billion in 2018 and the global medium-term forecast shows almost 30% growth in passenger numbers from now until 2022,” says Angela Gittens, Director General of ACI World. “Aviation’s gravitational centre continues to shift eastward, because future growth in passenger traffic will originate from emerging markets, many of which are in the Asia-Pacific region.”

Even though this will be a great financial boost for the airport industry all around, the increase in air traffic and transportation demands could cause some issues to airport infrastructure with the rapid growth. “These physical capacity considerations and potential bottlenecks in air transport infrastructure pose challenges to the global industry in accommodating the strong forecast future demand,” Gittens says.

Cross-border disputes and nationalist trade policies may also have a negative effect on the passenger increase. Gittens says:

“Geopolitical tensions and protectionist policies that retreat from further economic integration and air transport liberalization could also have an adverse effect on the air transport industry.The aviation industry must come together to respond to these challenges and help to ensure communities continue to reap the social and economic benefits of air service growth. Policy at a national and global level should be focused on facilitating sustainable growth over the long term.”

Featured image by Classen Rafael / EyeEm via Getty Images.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs up to two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $80 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® after you apply through any Authorized Enrollment Provider. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
17.24%-26.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.