Global air travelers are expected to rise to 3.3 billion in 2014, up 32 percent from 2.5 billion in 2009, fueled by strong growth in China, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said on Monday.
Global airlines have seen a strong rebound from the sharp downturn in 2009 as economies, particularly in Asia, have recovered from the recession.
But the international air body said the effects of the global recession were still affecting parts of the industry.
The shadow of the global economic recession is expected to remain over parts of the industry for some time to come, IATA director general Giovanni Bisignani said in a press release.
IATA said China will be the biggest contributor, accounting for 214 million out of the total 800 million new air passengers between 2009 and 2014.
In December, IATA revised up its profit forecast for the whole airline industry to $9.1 billion this year from a previous estimate of $5.3 billion.
Last year's profit of the industry was estimated at $15.1 billion, compared to September's forecast of 8.9 billion. The numbers compared to a total industry loss of $9.9 billion in 2009.
(Reporting by Harry Suhartono and Xue Jianyue)