BRIC nations to lead future civil aviation growth: study

Emerging economies like China, India, Russia and Brazil will be the propellers of civil aviation over the next decade as incomes and travel aspirations rise in these countries, a new study of the airline market says.

The study on travel industry trends, carried out by Oxford Economics and commissioned by Amadeus, also predicts that China would overtake the United States this year itself as the largest outbound market.

The Oxford Economics-Amadeus report shows that Asia would drive a decade of sustained growth in the global travel industry, which would grow by 5.4 per cent per annum over the next decade, outpacing global GDP which would grow by little over 3 per cent.

It predicted that Asia would become the growth leader in outbound travel expenditure over the next decade, overtaking Europe by 2023. By that year, Asia Pacific outbound travel spend would reach $752.8 billion or 40 per cent of the world's total.

The report indicates that the growth would not be exclusive to China, with forecasts showing that "other large emerging markets such as Russia, Brazil, India, Indonesia and Turkey will also average more than five per cent annual growth over the next 10 years. This will be driven largely by rising wealth and changing consumer habits."

The report further says, ''Non-OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) air travel is set to overtake that of OECD members for the first time, to become largest source of global air traffic by 2023."

China's growth in outbound travel, which stood at just one per cent in 2005, would enable it to "overtake the US to become the world's largest outbound travel market this year", with the number of Chinese households able to afford overseas travel set to more than double in the next decade.

China would also become the biggest domestic travel market by 2017, driven largely by rapidly increasing GDP, rising employment levels and higher consumer spending.

Ankur Bhatia, director, Amadeus India, said Asia alone would account for almost 55 per cent of the growth in global outbound business travel expenditure over 10 years.