The WBG has set two ambitious goals: to end extreme poverty by 2030 and to boost shared prosperity for the poorest 40 percent. One might be wonder - what does air transport have to do with development? Transport is not, of course, an end in itself. However, it is an important enabler to achieving economic growth and development. Air transport facilitates integration into the global economy and provides vital connectivity on a national, regional, and international scale. The success of the tourism and trade industries, for example, rest solidly on air transport.
In 2014, we continued to see the growing importance of connectivity and competitiveness in our global economy. Airlines transported around 3.3 billion passengers and 50 million metric tons of cargo across a network of 50,000 routes. Overall, the air-line industry posted a collective net profit of $19.9 billion, with an average net profit margin of about 3%. This vast global network had huge economic importance, generating an estimated 58 million jobs and $2.4 trillion in business activity.