The world's airlines' passenger traffic increased by 6.4% in 2011 on a 6.5% rise in capacity, according to ICAO, which predicted the annual rate of growth going forward won't be as robust.

In a presentation to FAA's annual Aviation Forecast Conference in Washington Friday, ICAO Air Transport Bureau chief-economic analysis and policy Narjess Teyssier projected that global airlines' collective passenger traffic will "most likely" grow at an annual average rate of 4.5% through 2030, higher than the 3.2% average annual growth rate FAA has predicted for US airlines (ATW Daily News, March 9).

She noted the world economy is now moving at two speeds as developing nations' gross domestic product (GDP) rises at about twice the clip of developed countries' GDP. That will lead to uneven passenger traffic growth in different world regions through 2030, she said. The highest rate of growth over the period will occur in Latin America, according to ICAO, which forecasts 6.1% growth per year for the region (ATW, Jan. 1).

ICAO predicted Asia/Pacific traffic to rise 5.7% annually, followed by the Middle East (up 5.2% per year), Africa (up 4.7%), Europe (up 4.2%) and North America (up 3.9%).

North American carriers' share of world air passenger traffic will fall from 30% currently to 20% in 2030, Teyssier said, adding that Asia/Pacific airlines' market share will rise from 27% now to 36% in 2030. The average passenger aircraft in 2030 will have 174 seats, up from 169, according to ICAO.

Total aircraft movements (including both passenger and cargo flights) will double from 24.79 million annually in 2010 to 51.71 million per year by 2030, Teyssier said.