The aviation industry supports $2.7 trillion (3.5%) of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP). The following section outlines from where this economic activity comes.
$664.4 billion in direct GDP benefits
The world’s airlines carry over three billion passengers a year and 50 million tonnes of freight. Providing these services generates 9.9 million direct jobs within the air transport industry and contributes $664.4 billion to global GDP.
Compared with the GDP contribution of other sectors, the global air transport industry is larger than the automotive industry, which accounts for 1.2% of global GDP and chemicals manufacturing (2.1%). It is more than half the size of the global financial services industry, which accounts for 6.2% of GDP. In fact, if air transport were a country, its GDP would rank it 21st in the world, similar to that of Switzerland or Sweden.
$761.4 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 $761.4 billion to global GDP in 2014.
$355 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 $355 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.
$892.4 billion in tourism GDP
Tourism is fast becoming the world’s largest industry and air transport plays a very important role in supporting this sector. Conservative analysis suggests that aviation supports $892.4 billion in economic activity within the tourism industry. Click here for some information on the role aviation plays in supporting the global tourism sector.