Air transport, freight (million ton-km)
Definition: Air freight is the volume of freight, express, and diplomatic bags carried on each flight stage (operation of an aircraft from takeoff to its next landing), measured in metric tons times kilometers traveled.
Description: The map below shows how Air transport, freight (million ton-km) varies by country. The shade of the country corresponds to the magnitude of the indicator. The darker the shade, the higher the value. The country with the highest value in the world is United States, with a value of 38,225.45. The country with the lowest value in the world is Sierra Leone, with a value of 0.00.
Source: International Civil Aviation Organization, Civil Aviation Statistics of the World and ICAO staff estimates.
Development Relevance: Transport infrastructure - highways, railways, ports and waterways, and airports and air traffic control systems - and the services that flow from it are crucial to the activities of households, producers, and governments. Because performance indicators vary widely by transport mode and focus (whether physical infrastructure or the services flowing from that infrastructure), highly specialized and carefully specified indicators are required to measure a country's transport infrastructure. The air transport industry a vital engine of global socio-economic growth. It is of vital importance for economic development, creating direct and indirect employment, supporting tourism and local businesses, and stimulating foreign investment and international trade. Economic growth, technological change, market liberalization, the growth of low cost carriers, airport congestion, oil prices and other trends affect commercial aviation throughout the world.
Limitations and Exceptions: The air transport data represent the total (international and domestic) scheduled traffic carried by the air carriers registered in a country. Countries submit air transport data to International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) on the basis of standard instructions and definitions issued by ICAO. In many cases, however, the data include estimates by ICAO for nonreporting carriers. Where possible, these estimates are based on previous submissions supplemented by information published by the air carriers, such as flight schedules. The data cover the air traffic carried on scheduled services, but changes in air transport regulations in Europe have made it more difficult to classify traffic as scheduled or nonscheduled. Thus recent increases shown for some European countries may be due to changes in the classification of air traffic rather than actual growth. In the case of multinational air carriers owned by partner States, traffic within each partner State is shown separately as domestic and all other traffic as international. "Foreign" cabotage traffic (i.e. traffic carried between city-pairs in a State other than the one where the reporting carrier has its principal place of business) is shown as international traffic. A technical stop does not result in any flight stage being classified differently than would have been the case had the technical stop not been made. For countries with few air carriers or only one, the addition or discontinuation of a home-based air carrier may cause significant changes in air traffic. Data for transport sectors are not always internationally comparable. Unlike for demographic statistics, national income accounts, and international trade data, the collection of infrastructure data has not been "internationalized."
Statistical Concept and Methodology: For statistical uses, departures are equal to the number of landings made or flight stages flown. A flight stage is the operation of an aircraft from take-off to its next landing. A flight stage is classified as either international or domestic. International flight stage is one or both terminals in the territory of a State, other than the State in which the air carrier has its principal place of business. Domestic flight stage is not classifiable as international. Domestic flight stages include all flight stages flown between points within the domestic boundaries of a State by an air carrier whose principal place of business is in that State. Flight stages between a State and territories belonging to it, as well as any flight stages between two such territories, should be classified as domestic. This applies even though a stage may cross international waters or over the territory of another State. Freight tonne-kilometres performed measures a metric tonne of freight carried one kilometre. Freight tonne-kilometres equal the sum of the products obtained by multiplying the number of tonnes of freight, express, diplomatic bags carried on each flight stage by the stage distance. For ICAO statistical purposes freight includes express and diplomatic bags but not passenger baggage.
Aggregation method: Sum