* Sees passengers doubling to 7 billion by 2034
* Previous forecast was for 7.4 billion
* China growth slows; Brazil, Russia struggle
(Adds more details on forecasts)
FRANKFURT, Nov 26 Slowing growth in China, the
fastest growing market for air travel, will dampen global demand
for air transport, the International Air Transport Association
(IATA) said as it cut its long-term forecast for global
Concerns over the outlook for global economic growth have
been looming large in recent months, prompting the heads of the
world’s 20 largest economies to warn this month that growth
around the world was uneven and falling short of expectations.
A spate of terror attacks have also cast a pall over
international travel, with security worries driving down airline
and hotel stocks earlier this week.
“Economic and political events over the last year have
impacted some of the fundamentals for growth,” IATA’s head Tony
Tyler said in a statement on Thursday.
IATA now expects the number of air passengers to reach 7
billion by 2034, doubling from the 3.5 billion expected for
2015, with a 3.8 percent average annual growth rate.
The association, whose around 260 members account for 83
percent of global air traffic, previously saw passenger numbers
rising by an average of 4.1 percent per year to 7.4 billion in
IATA pointed to slower economic growth expectations for
China as the main reason for its downgrade, but said it was
still the fastest growing market in terms of extra passengers
and was set to overtake the United States as the world’s largest
passenger market by 2029. China will account for around 1.19
billion passengers by 2034.
Brazil and Russia meanwhile are struggling, IATA said,
partly due to falling oil and commodity prices, while Russia is
also feeling the effect of economic sanctions.
IATA is due to give an update on its outlook for airline
profits in 2015 and 2016 on Dec 10. It currently forecasts
global airline profits of $29.3 billion in 2015, almost double
that of last year.
(Reporting by Maria Sheahan and Victoria Bryan; Editing by
Georgina Prodhan and Elaine Hardcastle)