Air transport supports 11.9 million jobs and $860 billion in GDP in Europe.

The air transport industry in Europe directly generated an estimated 2.5 million jobs in 2014.

Europe jobs and GDP

  • 533,000 of those people (21% of the total) were in jobs for airlines or handling agents (for example, flight crew, check-in staff, maintenance crew, reservations and head office staff).
  • Another 174,000 people (7% of the total) worked for airport operators (for example, in airport management, maintenance, security, and operations).
  • 1.4 million jobs (57%) were on-site in airports, at retail outlets, restaurants, hotels, etc.
  • A further 311,000 people (12%) were employed in the manufacture of civil aircraft (including systems, components, airframes, and engines).
  • Air navigation service providers employed an additional 84,000 people (3%).

The total impacts – including those from the operations of the air transport sector itself, the impact of the air transport sector’s procurement of inputs of goods and services from its supply chain, and the impact of employees of the air transport sector and its supply chain spending their wages – mean the air transport sector supported 6.9 million jobs and contributed $531.9 billion to GDP in Europe.


Moreover, substantial benefits derive to regional economies via the catalytic impacts of tourist spending, much of which is generated by tourists travelling by air. In 2014, the spending of tourists arriving at their destination by air is estimated to have added 5 million to employment and $328.1 billion in GDP.