Aviation enables the free movement of people and goods around the globe. In 2019 aviation enabled more than 4.5 billion passenger journeys and transported over 61 million tonnes of cargo.

Aviation empowers us to explore the world. At the end of 2019 there  were more than 22,000 unique city-pair connections.

Aviation gives businesses the freedom to sell their goods in global markets. $6.7 trillion in international trade moved by air in 2019.

Aviation is the Business of Freedom

  • Aviation liberates us from the constraints of geography, distance and time. In doing so, it enables us to lead better lives, and makes the world a better place.
  • Aviation empowers us to explore the world, to do business globally, and to enrich our lives.
  • Aviation reunites families and loved ones and creates opportunities for greater understanding among cultures
  • Aviation connectivity gets goods to markets, and vital aid to those in need. By value, a third of the goods traded internationally travel by air.

Supporting over 65.5M jobs around the globe 

From delivering life-saving medicine to your family member to bringing the performers at an awe-inspiring concert, aviation helps people live better lives and is a catalyst for prosperity. It plays a unique role in connecting business to markets, reuniting family and friends, discovering new cultures and lands, bringing people together to solve problems as well as building understanding and developing global insights. For these reasons, we call aviation the Business of Freedom. Here are a few fast facts:

  • 65.5 million jobs are supported by aviation worldwide
  • Aviation represents $2.7 trillion in global economic impact (including direct, indirect, induced and tourism catalytic)
  • 3.6% of global GDP is supported by aviation 
  • third of goods traded internationally are brought to market through air transport
  • 57% of world tourists arrive by air
  • More data is available on our partner ATAG Aviation Benefits Beyond Borders website.

Supporting Sustainable Development Goals

Safe, reliable, efficient and cost-effective air transport is an essential component of a broader mobility strategy to help achieve the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The global aviation sector has a role to play in 15 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, some in small ways and others with much more significant influence.

See the ways Business of Freedom contributes to the SDGs at: www.aviationbenefits.org/SDGs

Helping to connect and enrich the world

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is actively promoting the Business of Freedom. Our goal is to partner with governments, businesses and consumers to create a shared understanding of the value that can be created from air travel - and how it can be enjoyed!

Our hope is that this, in turn, will encourage governments to take a smarter regulation approach that maximizes aviation’s potential and allow it to fully contribute to people around the world as a force for good.

Learn more about IATA's role in air transport.