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Europe region takes flight with aviation’s economic benefits


Air transport: supporting 11.7 million jobs, $860 billion of region’s GDP

Geneva, 29 April 2014 – The air transport industry plays an important role in supporting the growth of economies across Europe, according to a new study released today by the Air Transport Action Group (ATAG) at its Global Sustainable Aviation Summit in Geneva, Switzerland. The report, Aviation: Benefits Beyond Borders outlines how air transport supports 11.7 million jobs and $860 billion in gross domestic product (GDP) in Europe.

Often overlooked when discussing aviation are the benefits that the industry has ‘beyond the airport’. This includes supporting millions of jobs in the wider economy; enabling business trips, the travel of friends and relatives, tourism and the rapid delivery of cargo. Of the nearly 12 million jobs supported across the region, 2.6 million are within the industry itself and the rest are supported as part of the industry’s supply chain and the significant role air transport plays in the tourism sector.

ATAG executive director, Michael Gill, says that the report also outlines the worldwide impact of the industry, “Looking at the global benefits of aviation, our report identifies that the air transport industry supports over 58 million jobs and $2.4 trillion in GDP worldwide. At the current rate of growth, we expect aviation to support over 100 million jobs and $5.8 trillion in GDP around the world within two decades.”

ATAG has established a web resource to outline some of these benefits:

Commenting on the report, Athar Husain Khan, chief executive of the Association of European Airlines (AEA), said, “ATAG’s report Aviation: Benefits beyond borders once more proves the strong added value that European airlines create for Europe in terms of connectivity and logistics, economic turnover, social cohesion and employment. Market conditions remain however challenging. European airlines are still confronted with unnecessary regulatory burdens or infrastructure issues that weaken their international competitiveness. With the EU elections around the corner we will now soon reach a momentum to create a European aviation policy that secures a sustainable aviation industry.”

Olivier Jankovec, director general for Airports Council International Europe, said: “In today’s globalised and multipolar world, where connectivity is a strategic success factor, air transport is the glue that connects people, products and places across Europe and beyond. As the visible face of air transport on the ground, airports are portals to the enormous economic and social benefits that we and our aviation partners bring to society, as detailed in this report. National governments ignoring these benefits – by taxing air travel or not addressing the lack of airport capacity would do well to take note.”

Guenter Martis, director European affairs for the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO), said: “Increasing demand for aviation services will lead to increased economic benefits across Europe. Potential growth is hampered by capacity constraints through inefficient use of airspace and fragmented air navigation services provision based on national borders. States must fulfil their commitment to the Single European Sky through implementing more efficient airspace blocks. CANSO member air navigation service providers are constantly improving the efficiency of airspace across Europe, thereby increasing capacity. They deliver continual improvements in the key performance areas of safety, cost-efficiency and environment. They are implementing the next generation air traffic management system – SESAR.”




  • Photographs of the launch of the report are available from Getty Images wire service, search Sustainable Aviation Summit Geneva
  • The full report and case studies are available from
  • Media may also be interested in the newswire, capturing sustainable aviation news from across the industry at
  • Follow the Summit and other sustainable aviation news at and through the #GSAS2014 hashtag
  • The Air Transport Action Group is a coalition of organisations and companies throughout the air transport industry that drive the sustainable development of the air transport sector. Funding members include ACI, Airbus, ATR, Boeing, Bombardier, CANSO, CFM, Embraer, Honeywell Aerospace, GE, IATA, Pratt & Whitney, Rolls-Royce and Safran.