Recently I spent a wet weekend looking for a means to identify the countries where their airline industry plays a disproportionate role in the national economy. As a general rule I would expect that these are the countries with airlines that rely to a greater extent on sixth freedom (transit) traffic.
I took the overall size of each economy as measured in US dollars and adjusted for purchasing power parity (PPP) from the World Factbook published by the CIA on 20 March 2008.
I then took the 100 top airlines in the world as measured by revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs) from the August 2008 edition of Airline Business and allocated these airlines to their home countries.
What I came up with were the following RPK:GDP ratios that were greater than 0.1 (number of airlines in brackets if more than one):
0.67 United Arab Emirates (2)
0.33 Ireland (2)
0.26 Hong Kong
0.24 New Zealand
0.16 Australia (3)
0.13 Malaysia (2)
0.13 United Kingdom (9)
0.12 Sri Lanka
That countries in the Gulf region, led by the UAE, came top was no great surprise given recent developments. What I had not expected was that the ratio for New Zealand would be so high.
Air China Specials - Part Two
3 hours ago