The aviation industry supports $2.7 trillion (3.6%) of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP). The following section outlines from where this economic activity comes.

$704.4 billion in direct GDP benefits

The world’s airlines carry over four billion passengers a year and nearly 62 million tonnes of freight. Providing these services generates 10.2 million direct jobs within the air transport industry and contributes $704.4 billion to global GDP.

Compared with the GDP contribution of other sectors, the global air transport industry is larger than both the automobile manufacturing sector and the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry. In fact, if air transport were a country, its GDP would rank it 20th in the world, similar to that of Switzerland or Argentina.

$637.8 billion indirect GDP impact

These include employment and activities of suppliers to the air transport industry – for example, aviation fuel suppliers; construction companies that build airport facilities; suppliers of sub-components used in aircraft; manufacturers of goods sold in airport retail outlets; and a wide variety of activities in the business services sector (such as call centres, information technology and accountancy). These indirect activities contributed approximately $637.8 billion to global GDP in 2016.

$454 billion induced GDP

The spending of those directly or indirectly employed in the air transport sector supports jobs in industries such as retail outlets, companies producing consumer goods and a range of service industries (such as banks and restaurants). Worldwide, roughly $454 billion induced GDP impact globally is supported through employees in the air transport industry (whether direct or indirect) using their income to purchase goods and services for their own consumption.

$896.9 billion in tourism GDP

Tourism is fast becoming one of the world’s largest industry and air transport plays a very important role in supporting this sector. Conservative analysis suggests that aviation supports $896.9 billion in economic activity within the tourism industry. Click here for some information on the role aviation plays in supporting the global tourism sector.