Air Travel Markets by Country

The increasing variety of air travel options, from different classes on commercial carriers to private or charter jets, cater to a diverse array of people. Air travel is a vital tool for all types of flyers, from high-profile business executives to travelers on tight budgets.

Air travel options vary greatly by country. While some markets have diverse and robust aviation markets, others may be weighted more toward a specific type of flyer.

What Is Private Air Travel?

As the name implies, passengers who wish to avoid busy airports and sharing the cabin with strangers can opt to travel privately. If you wish to travel private, you can rent a private jet (private charter) or purchase your own aircraft.

Flying private is typically reserved for business professionals and the wealthy. The cost of owning, maintaining and staffing a private aircraft would be considered astronomical to the average traveler, which is why private jets tend to be owned by businesses or the wealthiest individuals.

The cost of private air travel is well worth it for some travelers, with benefits like:

  • Privacy: You decide who’s flying with you
  • Space: You can use this space for sleep, work or leisure
  • You can decide on your departure and arrival time
  • You can bring your pets onboard with no restrictions or additional costs
  • Non-stop travel: You can take a flight from point A to point B without inconvenient stops and lengthy layovers
  • You can indulge in the food and drink options of your choice

One of the biggest advantages of private air travel is the ability to choose your aircraft and customize its interior. When you purchase a private jet, you have the freedom to choose its interior design and in-flight entertainment technology, such as OLED screens and smart cabin displays.

Which Countries Have the Biggest Markets for Private Jet Travel?

The United States is currently at the forefront of private jet travel. Private individuals and businesses in the U.S. own 12,717 private airplanes in total—the largest fleet of all nations. Other notable fleets include Brazil (764 planes), Mexico (704 planes) and Canada (483). In Europe, the biggest private travel markets can be found in Germany (387 planes), Austria (244 planes) and the United Kingdom (241 planes).

What Is Commercial Air Travel?

Commercial airplanes transport passengers and cargo on a scheduled basis between different cities, countries and continents. Commercial air travel is a popular and affordable way to travel both domestically and internationally, accounting for approximately $488 billion in annual earnings in the United States.

There are over 5,000 operating airlines in the world ranging from low-cost airlines offering a no frill experience for a low fare to full-service luxury airlines. Many airlines offer passengers different travel classes, such as economy, premium economy, business and first class.

Which Countries Have the Biggest Markets for Commercial Air Travel?

As of 2022, the United States has the biggest market for commercial air travel. The American tourism sector contributed an estimated $1.3 trillion to the country’s economy in 2021. China’s tourism industry fell from first place to second place, largely due to travel restrictions during the pandemic, but still managed to contribute $814 billion. In third place was Germany’s tourism sector, which contributed $251 billion to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

What Is Charter Air Travel?

A charter flight is a flight planned and booked for a specific person, group of people or a business chartering it. As opposed to the non-flexible travel schedules of commercial flights, charter flights are tailored to the needs of the reserving party, meaning you can choose your own travel dates and destination. When it comes to comfort and convenience, charter air travel lies somewhere between private and commercial air travel.

There are a few different types of charter air travel:

  • Private charter: These are typically private jets booked by a private party. The entire flight must be chartered by a single person or entity, but the passengers may choose to split the bill.
  • Public charter: These are typically offered on a seasonal basis and booked by tour operators looking to fly tourists to a specific destination.
  • Affinity charter: Is somewhat like a private charter, but each passenger pays for their own seat. Common use cases include band members or members of a sports team travelling to an event.

Which Countries Have the Biggest Markets for Charter Air Travel?

The demand for charter air travel is highest in the United States. Since the U.S. has the largest fleet of private jets in the entire world, its charter industry can easily cater to a variety of businesses, organizations and high-profile travelers.

In Europe, the popularity of charter air travel is largely linked to tourism. Several commercial airlines offer seasonal charter flights on behalf of tour operators using a specific aircraft. The chartered flights can be either short-haul or long-haul, with destinations like the Mediterranean, Greece, Egypt and Tunisia.

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If you own or manage a private aircraft or business jet, you likely want to make each passenger’s time on board as comfortable and worthwhile as possible. At Rosen Aviation, we’re happy to help you propel the in-flight experience to the next level by offering custom IFE and cabin display solutions.

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