Asia-Pacific

Air transport supports 30.2 million jobs and $684 billion in Asia-Pacific economic activity. That is 1.6% of all employment and 2.7% of all GDP in Asia-Pacific countries in 2016.

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Every person employed by the aviation sector directly, or in aviation enabled tourism, supported another nine jobs elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific region. Similarly, $4.60 of economic activity was supported elsewhere in Asia-Pacific for every $1 created by the air transport sector.

The aviation sector in the Asia-Pacific region employed nearly 3 million people directly in 2016. Analysis of these workers suggests:

  • 1 million workers (30% of the total) were employed by airlines or handling agents as flight crew, check-in staff, maintenance crew, or head office staff
  • 179,000 (5.5%) worked with airport operators in roles like airport management, maintenance and security
  • 1.9 million (57.5%) worked on-site in airports at retail outlets, restaurants, and hotels.
  • 177,000 (5%) were employed in civil aircraft manufacturing, including systems, components, airframes, and engines
  • 62,000 (2%) worked for air navigation service providers in jobs such as air traffic control and engineering

Airlines, airport operators, airport retailers, navigation services and civil aircraft manufacturers all contribute to GDP in Asia-Pacific countries. In 2016, the operations of these businesses contributed $149 billion directly to GDP.

It is estimated that the aviation sector’s supplier spending supported a further 3.1 million jobs and a $120 billion contribution to GDP. In addition, spending by those employed in the aviation sector and its supply chain supported 3.3 million more jobs and a $128 billion contribution to GDP.

Aviation also facilitates a substantial amount of tourism in the Asia-Pacific region. This stimulates yet more economic activity, as tourists spend their money in restaurants, hotels, retailers, tour operators, and on other consumer goods and services. In 2016, spending by those who flew to Asia-Pacific countries supported an estimated 20.5 million jobs and a $288 billion contribution to GDP.