New Delhi– Global airlines industry organisation International Air Transport Association (IATA) on Tuesday said that it expects India to become the world’s third largest aviation market by 2026.

According to IATA’s latest update to its “20-Year Air Passenger Forecast”, India will displace the UK for the third place by 2026.

“India will displace the UK for third place in 2026,” IATA said in a statement, and predicted that China will displace the US as the world’s largest aviation market around 2029.

“The biggest driver of demand will be the Asia-Pacific region. It is expected to be the source of more than half the new passengers over the next 20 years,” IATA said.

“Growth will also increasingly be driven within developing markets. Over the past decade the developing world’s share of total passenger traffic has risen from 24 per cent to nearly 40 per cent, and this trend is set to continue.”

The global airlines’ industry body expects the number of air travellers to increase from 3.8 billion in 2016 to 7.2 billion passengers in 2035.

The prediction is based on a 3.7 per cent annual Compound Average Growth Rate (CAGR).

“People want to fly. Demand for air travel over the next two decades is set to double. Enabling people and nations to trade, explore, and share the benefits of innovation and economic prosperity makes our world a better place,” Alexandre de Juniac, Director General and Chief Executive of IATA, was quoted in the statement. (IANS)