The aviation industry connects the world in a unique way, adding immense value to the global economy. It supports $2.7 trillion in world economic activity (3.6% of global gross domestic product). This section provides a global picture of economic activity supported by aviation.
Adding value to the economy
$704.4 billion direct GDP
The world’s airlines carry over four billion passengers a year and nearly 62 million tonnes of freight. Providing these services creates 10.2 million direct jobs and contributes $704.4 billion to global GDP.
The global air transport industry is larger than both the automobile manufacturing sector and the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry by GDP. In fact, if air transport were a country, its GDP would rank 20th in the world, similar to that of Switzerland or Argentina.
$637.8 billion indirect GDP
These include jobs and services of suppliers to the air transport industry, such as aviation fuel suppliers; construction companies, suppliers of sub-components used in aircraft, manufacturers of goods sold in airports, and a wide variety of business services, such as call centres, IT and accountancy. These indirect activities contributed approximately $637.8 billion to global GDP in 2016.
$454 billion induced GDP
Around $454 billion induced GDP is created by employees in the air transport industry using their income to purchase goods and services for their own consumption.
The spending of those directly or indirectly employed in the air transport sector supports jobs in industries ranging from retail and manufacturing to banking and hospitality.
$896.9 billion in tourism GDP
Tourism is fast becoming one of the world’s largest industries and air transport is essential to this: over half of all international tourists fly to their destinations. Conservative analysis suggests aviation supports $896.9 billion in economic activity within the tourism industry. Click here for some information on the role aviation plays in supporting tourism.
Here’s a picture of how aviation supports the world’s economy in different regions of the world.