by Meetings & Conventions Asia | October 30, 2018
Global air passenger travel is expected to double to 8.2 billion annually by 2037. (Photo Credit: 06photo/Getty Images)
For frequent travellers, be prepared for even more traffic at airports in the next 20 years. 

According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), global air travel is expected to double to 8.2 billion passengers a year by 2037. 

Protectionist measures could, however, curb the surge, IATA added in an update to its 20-year passenger forecast.

Alexandre de Juniac, IATA's director general and CEO, warned of "a significant negative impact on the growth and benefits of aviation if tough and restrictive protectionist measures are implemented".

From the current level of 4.1 billion passengers, traffic should expand by 3.5% annually, said the group.

More than half of the additional passengers would come from the Asia Pacific region, with China set to overtake the United States as the world's largest aviation market in the mid-2020s.

India is expected to rise to third place after the US, followed by Indonesia and the UK. 

Asia Pacific is expected to add 2.35 billion passengers on routes through and within the region, bringing numbers to 3.9 billion.