The large number of people booking flights within the Asia-Pacific market in 2009 ensured that the region became the world’s largest aviation market.
This is according to new figures from the International Air Transport Association, which revealed that 647 million people travelled on flights in the Asia-Pacific region last year, compared to the 638 million who flew in North America.
IATA director general and chief executive officer Giovanni Bisignani told delegates at the Singapore Air Show Aviation Leadership Summit that the Asia-Pacific region’s potential depends on its ability to combat the effects of the economic downturn.
"Longer term, Asia-Pacific must also face global challenges including environment, security and liberalisation," he commented.
Mr Bisignani went on to attribute the region’s success to its diversity and dynamism.
The aviation industry suffered losses of $11 billion (£6.9 billion) last year, although this figure is expected to reduce to $5.6 billion (£3.5 billion) over the course of this year.
Separate IATA figures recently revealed that worldwide passenger demand for flights decreased 3.5 percent in 2009 compared to 2008.