Employment in Aviation

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Employment in the Aviation Sector – Aviation in Numbers

The aviation industry supports 87.7 million jobs around the world, either directly within the industry or, supported through the industry’s supply chain. This number includes the aviation-enabled tourism sector as well.

Around 11.3 million people work in the aviation industry directly.

These jobs include:

  • Airport operators: they work directly for the airport operator, such as Fraport
  • Other airport-based roles: retail, car rental, customs and immigration, freight forwarders and catering
  • Airlines: flight and cabin crews, executives, ground services, check-in, training, maintenance staff
  • Civil aerospace: engineers and designers of civil aircraft, engines and components
  • Air navigation service providers: air traffic controllers, executives

Over 18.1 million jobs globally are supported by aviation indirectly, through the air transport industry’s purchase of goods and services.

These include:

  • suppliers to the air transport industry, such as fuel suppliers, construction companies, suppliers of aircraft components, manufacturers of goods sold in airports,
  • and a variety of business support roles, like call centres, IT and accountancy.

Air transport industry employees (direct and indirect) support 13.5 million induced jobs globally, using their income to purchase goods and services for themselves.

Their significant spending power supports jobs in:

  • retail,
  • consumer goods
  • range of service industries such as banks and restaurants

Although heavily impacted by the COVID 19 pandemic, tourism is fast becoming the world’s largest industry, and air transport plays a vital role. Conservative estimates suggest that aviation supports 44.8 million jobs within tourism


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