915 million tonnes

Worldwide, flights produced 915 million tonnes of CO2 in 2019. Globally, humans produced over 42 billion tonnes of CO2.

4.5 billion

In 2019, 4.5 billion passengers were carried by the world's airlines.

65.5 million

Over 65 million jobs are supported worldwide in aviation and related tourism. Of this, 10.2 million people work directly in the aviation industry.

  • 2%

    The global aviation industry produces around 2% of all human-induced carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

  • 12%

    Aviation is responsible for 12% of CO2 emissions from all transports sources, compared to 74% from road transport.

  • 35%

    While air transport carries around 0.5% of the volume of world trade shipments, it is over 35% by value – meaning that goods shipped by air are very high value commodities, often times perishable or time-sensitive.

    Deliveries of fresh produce from Africa to the UK alone supports the livehoods of 1.5 million people, while producing less CO2 than similar produce grown in the UK, despite the energy used in transport.

  • 80%

    Jet aircraft in service today are well over 80% more fuel efficient per seat kilometre than the first jets in the 1960s.

  • 80%

    Alternative fuels, particularly sustainable aviation fuels (SAF), have been identified as excellent candidates for helping achieve the industry climate targets. SAF derived sources such as algae, jatropha, or waste by-products have been shown to reduce the carbon footprint of aviation fuel by up to 80% over their full lifecycle.

  • 80%

    Around 80% of aviation CO2 emissions are emitted from flights of over 1,500 kilometres, for which there is no practical alternative mode of transport.

  • 82%

    Globally, the average occupancy of aircraft is 82%, greater than other forms of transport.

Our climate targets:

  • 1.5%

    We will improve our fleet fuel efficiency by 1.5% per annum between now and 2020.

  • Stabilise

    From 2020, net carbon emissions from international aviation will be capped through carbon neutral growth.

  • 50%

    By 2050, net aviation carbon emissions will be half of what they were in 2005.

$1 trillion

In order for the aviation industry to reach its target of 1.5% average fleet fuel efficiency improvement per annum from 2010 until 2020, the world's airlines have purchased 12,000 new aircraft at a cost of $1 trillion since 2009.

80 million

Since 2000, the retro-fitting of winglet devices on aircraft has meant 80 million tonnes of CO2 has been avoided.

20th in the world

If aviation were a country, it would rank 20th in the world in terms of gross domestic product (GDP), generating $704.4 billion of GDP per year, considerably larger than some members of the G20 (and around the same size as Switzerland).

By 2036, it is forecast that aviation will directly contribute $1.5 trillion to world GDP.

3 litres

The new Airbus A380 and A220, Boeing 787, ATR-600 and Embraer E2 aircraft use less than 3 litres of jet fuel per 100 passenger kilometres. This matches the efficiency of most modern compact cars.

1,303 airlines operate a fleet of 31,717 aircraft serving 3,759 airports through a route network of several million kms managed by 170 air navigation service providers.

127 decibels

The South African horn made infamous at the 2010 World Cup, the vuvuzela, at full blast is rated at 127 decibels. An A380 on the other hand takes off with a relative whisper at 82dB.

In 1945, it took 130 weeks for a person earning the average Australian wage to earn enough for the lowest Sydney to London return airfare. In 2009, it took just 1.7 weeks.

Nearly a quarter of the operating costs of airlines is spent on fuel: 23.7% in 2019, which is up from 13% in 2001. The proportion is likely to rise further as fuel prices go up. So this alone is a major incentive for the whole industry to focus on fuel efficiency.



Worldwide, the amount contributed to the global economy by aviation jobs is roughly 4.4 times higher than that contributed by other jobs.