The world's airlines expect to board 3.6 billion passengers in 2016, according to IATA's latest traffic forecast.
It predicts that that global passenger traffic will rise by an average of 5.3% per annum between 2012 and 2016, resulting in a 28.5% increase in passenger numbers during the forecast period.
If achieved, the figure would see almost 500 million new passengers travelling on domestic routes and 331 million new passengers on international services.
International freight volumes for the period will grow at 3% per annum to total 34.5 million tonnes in 2016, according to IATA.
The emerging economies of Asia-Pacific, Latin America and the Middle East will see the strongest passenger growth, predicts IATA, which new routes to or within China alone accounting for 193 million of the 831 million new passengers over the forecast period.
Passenger growth within the Asia-Pacific region (domestic and international) is expected to add around 380 million passengers by 2016.
“Despite the current economic uncertainty, expected demand for connectivity remains strong, that’s good news for the global economy," says IATA director general and CEO, Tony Tyler.
"Growing air transport links generate jobs and underpin economic growth in all economies. But exploiting these will require governments to recognise aviation’s value with policies that do not stifle innovation, tax regimes that do not punish success and investments to enable infrastructure to keep up with growt."
Globally, aviation supports some 57 million jobs and $2.2 trillion in economic activity.