There's a reason why your Instagram can sometimes seem like a constant stream of travel pics. People are traveling more than ever, according to the latest World Air Transport Statistics released this week by the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Global air passenger numbers surpassed the four billion mark in 2017, higher than any previous year.

“In 2000, the average citizen flew just once every 43 months. In 2017, the figure was once every 22 months. Flying has never been more accessible. And this is liberating people to explore more of our planet for work, leisure and education. Aviation is the business of freedom,” said Alexandre de Juniac, Director General and CEO of IATA.

Of those traveling the most, the U.S. is at the top of the list with 632 million passengers, followed by China with 555 million, India with 162 million, the U.K. with 147 million, and Germany with 115 million. These figures take into account both domestic and international flight data.

When it comes to the most flown domestic routes, the top five routes were all Asia-Pacific pairs. At number one, Seoul Gimpo-Jeju had 13.5 million passengers, Melbourne Tullamarine-Sydney had 7.8 million, Fukuoka-Tokyo Haneda had 7.6 million, Sapporo-Tokyo Haneda had 7.4 million, and Beijing Capital-Shanghai Hongqiao had 6.4 million passengers.

And of the top five airlines ranked by total scheduled passenger kilometers flown, American Airlines placed first with 324 million passengers, followed by Delta with 316 million, United with 311 million, Emirates with 289 million, and Southwest 208 million.

The Star Alliance held its position as the largest airline alliance in 2017 with 22% of all scheduled traffic, followed by SkyTeam with 19%, and Oneworld with 16%.

You can peruse the full report at

Above image by Arina P Habich via Shutterstock

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