Nearly 88 million jobs were supported worldwide in aviation and related tourism before Covid-19 hit the industry.
In 2019, 4.5 billion passengers were carried by the world's airlines (1.9 billion international passengers and 2.6 billion domestic passengers).
While air transport carries around 1% of the volume of world trade shipments, it represents over 35% by value – meaning that goods shipped by air are very high value commodities, often 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.
Worldwide, flights produced 914 million tonnes of CO2 in 2019. Globally, humans produced over 43 billion tonnes of CO2.
The 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.
Since 2000, the retro-fitting of winglet devices on aircraft has meant 80 million tonnes of CO2 has been avoided.
The global aviation industry produces around 2.1% of all human-induced CO2 emissions.
Aviation is responsible for 12% of C02 emissions from all transports sources, compared to 74% from road transport.
Jet aircraft in service today are well over 80% more fuel efficient per seat kilometre than the first jets in the 1950s.
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.
By 2050, net aviation carbon emissions will be half of what they were in 2005.
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.
Global policy developments are making SAF a more important strategic consideration for aircraft operators which has resulted in major forward purchase agreements. As of early 2023, around $40 billion in SAF purchase agreements have been made by airlines.
Around 5.6 million tonnes or 7 billion litres of the total aviation fuel supply could be from SAF by 2025 and without further policy measures, around 6-10% of supply by 2030.
14 airports worldwide have regular supplies of SAF, including: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oslo, Bergen, Oakland and Stockholm as of April 2023.
Around 40 countries are implementing or considering SAF policy options as of April 2023.
There are currently seven SAF production pathways approved by ASTM International with each pathway representing different processes for production depending on the type of feedstocks.
Today, SAF is blended with conventional kerosene in ratios of up to 50% to ensure compatibility with aircraft, engines and fuelling systems.
Alternative fuels, particularly sustainable aviation fuels (SAF), have been identified as excellent candidates for helping achieve aviation's 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.