Emerging and developing countries are expected to make up more than 60% of all passenger traffic across the globe by 2040, reveals a report published by Airport Council International (ACI) World.

According to the ACI’s World Airport Traffic Forecasts (WATF), global traffic surpassed the 8.2 billion passenger mark last year, which is forecasted to double by 2034 at a steady growth rate of 4.3% annually.

The WATF includes traffic projections for over 110 countries and presents detailed metrics. These include total passengers, total air cargo and total aircraft movements up to 2040.

Passenger traffic is expected to grow at an annual rate of 4.1% and to touch 20.9 billion by 2040.

China will be the main source of passenger traffic, with its four billion passengers to represent a 19% share of the passenger traffic market across the globe.

“Prospects for growth in the passenger market over the short, medium and long-term, remain robust.”

Other emerging economies, including Indonesia, Turkey and Vietnam, are also expected to contribute to passenger growth.

ACI World director general Angela Gittens said: “The prospects for growth in the passenger market over the short, medium and long-term, remain robust and, while there are some concerns around cargo in the short term, the longer-term outlook is more positive.

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“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. 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.”

The US alone is expected to account 20% of all air cargo transportation by 2040, whereas China and the UAE would be the second and third largest markets.

Both the countries are expected to handle another fifth of the 203.4 million tonnes of global air cargo volumes.