NewsWorld1 out of 6 trips were by aeroplane in 2017

1 out of 6 trips were by aeroplane in 2017

In 2017, European Union (EU) residents made nearly 1.3 billion trips with at least one overnight stay either in their home country or abroad. One out of every six of these trips (218 million) used the aeroplane as the main means of transport.

Most of the travel by air was for personal (non-business) reasons (82 %), while the remaining 18 % of air trips were for business purposes. For comparison, the proportion of trips for business purposes, regardless of the means of transport, was slightly lower at 12 %.

Pie chart of share of air trips by purpose and destination, 2017

In the five-year period 2012-2017, the overall number of trips made by EU residents using all modes of transport increased by 2 %, while those made by aeroplane increased by 15 %.

Looking at personal trips, those made by air grew by 23 % overall, with an increase of 42 % for journeys abroad for less than 4 nights.

Bar chart showing percentage changes in the number of trips by purpose, destination and duration 2012-2017 In contrast, for business travel there was an overall fall of 9 % in the number of trips by air over the same period.  The decline in air travel was particularly marked for domestic business trips, with trips lasting 4 or more nights down by 34 % between 2012 and 2017.

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