As you've surely heard by now, IATA says the Asia-Pacific region has usurped North America to claim the number spot as the largest aviation market. IATA says carriers in Asia-Pacific flew 647 million passengers within the region compared to North America's 638 million in its region (that means wholly within and not to/from other regions).
Last year in Airbus's global market forecasts it said Asia-Pacific would be the largest market only by 2028. Boeing wasn't bullish either, also sticking to the 2028 date. But history is past and this is now: the future has arrived. Asia-Pacific is taking the helm.
This marks a monumental shift. We're going from carriers in North America that everyone knows and scrutinizes to a region where some big carriers are known but many more remain hidden (pop quiz: how many aircraft are in China? Answer: 1,400). We're going from stereotypically low-service cabins to stereotypically high-service cabins. And we're going from the home of the low-cost carrier (that's you, Dallas, home to Southwest) to the new frontier where LCCs are being taken to the next level by going long-haul and with early signs of success (that's you, Kuala Lumpur and Macau, respectively home to AirAsia X and Viva Macau).
And what better time to announce this than at the Singapore Air Show? You can see my colleagues' work--articles, photos, videos, Tweets--here at our special Singapore Air Show page.
Stay tuned. This is a good, if not the, place to be.