This chart shows global air travel is taking off again

Photo by Don Arnold/Getty Images

Global air travel is taking off.

According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), industry-wide revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs) soared 7.9% year-on-year in the first half of 2017, marking the fastest growth since 2005 (RPKs are calculated by multiplying the number of revenue-paying customers by kilometres traveled).

IATA said the strong start to the year was driven by a brighter global economic backdrop and stimulus from lower airfares, and was largely concentrated in Europe and the Asia-Pacific which drove two-thirds of the total increase in RPK growth during the half.

This chart shows first half year-on-year RPK growth by region over the past 12 years.

Source: IATA

The strong passenger performance was mirrored by growth in air freight which jumped by 10.4% annualised in the first half of the year, the strongest start to a year since 2010.

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