Airline traffic will nearly double to 7.8 billion passengers in the next two decades, up from 4 billion this year, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) says in a new estimate.
Asian markets will be the strongest driver of this expansion, the industry group said on Tuesday in Geneva.
IATA predicts that China will overtake the United States as the world's biggest aviation market in about five years.
"Increasing demand will bring a significant infrastructure challenge," IATA Director General Alexandre de Juniac said.
Although runways and terminals will become strained, de Juniac said that building ever bigger airports is not the right solution.
Instead, airports should move some their activities to other locations and should try to become more efficient, the former Air France-KLM chief executive proposed.
While IATA expects passenger traffic to grow by an annual average of 3.6%, it warns that trade protectionism and travel restrictions could slow down this rate to 2.7%.
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