Today, Jan 1, marks the 100 anniversary of commercial aviation. IATA – The International Air Transport Association has launched a new website for the celebration.
The first commercial flight in history was done across Tampa bay, this date on 1914 by a Benoist airboat of the St. Petersburg-Tampa Airboat, piloted by Tony Janus.
Willie Walsh, chief executive of British Airways’ parent company IAG, hailed the success of commercial aviation’s first 100 years.
He said: “Aviation is a miracle. It’s truly wonderful. Everybody who lives finds it somehow touches their lives.
“Without question, aviation is a force for good. There are issues we must address such as the environment where our performance must improve, but it’s a fantastic industry.”
Walsh highlighted the rise of the low-cost airlines in recent years, saying “now everybody expects to be able to fly”.
He went on: “I generally believe we are at an exciting stage in aviation where we can improve our environmental and financial performance.”
IATA – General Director and Chief Executive Tony Tyler said:
“Over the last century, commercial aviation has transformed the world in ways unimaginable in 1914. The first light provided a shortcut across Tampa Bay. Today, the aviation industry reunites loved ones, connects cultures, expands minds, opens markets and fosters development. Aviation provides people around the globe with the freedom to make connections that can change their lives and the world.”
IATA released some statistics which showed:
• On average, every day more than eight million people fly. In 2013 total passenger numbers were 3.1 billion – surpassing the three billion mark for the first time.
• That number is expected to grow to 3.3 billion in 2014 (equivalent to 44 per cent of the world’s population).
• About 50 million tons of cargo is transported by air each year (about 140,000 tons daily).
• Aviation supports more than 57 million jobs with the industry’s direct economic contribution being around €405 billion;
• Global airline industry turnover is expected to be around €558 billion in 2014, with an average industry profit margin of 2.6 per cent.
Key facts on aviation
• One hundred years on, planes are now taking off at the rate of 52 every minute.
• Every 60 seconds, a total of 5,700 passengers board aircraft around the world.
• About €9 million worth of cargo is delivered by air every 60 seconds.
• Every minute, the global fleet of aircraft travel more than 71,000 kilometres.
• In 2013, more than three billion passengers travelled by air, with nearly half of those who travelled as tourists taking to flights.
• Air passenger numbers are set to rise by around six per cent in 2014.
• Today, New Year’s Day, an estimated eight million people will fly.
• Travellers have the choice of around 4,000 airports and 1,500 airlines worldwide and can fly on around 40,000 city-to-city routes.
• Airlines carry 50 million tons of cargo a year and carry 35 per cent of world trade by value
• Aviation accounts for two per cent of global CO2 emissions.
• Fifty-seven million jobs are supported by the commercial aviation industry worldwide.