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Fivefore in Airline

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The international airline industry provides service to virtually every corner of the globe, and has been an integral part of the creation of a global economy. The airline industry itself is a major economic force, both in terms of its own operations and its impacts on related industries such as aircraft manufacturing and tourism, to name but two. Few other industries generate the amount and intensity of attention given to airlines, not only among its participants but from government policy makers, the media, and almost anyone who has an anecdote about a particular air travel experience.

During much of its development, the global airline industry dealt with major technological innovations such as the introduction of jet airplanes for commercial use in the 1950s, followed by the development of wide-body "jumbo jets" in the 1970s. At the same time, airlines were heavily regulated throughout the world, creating an environment in which technological advances and government policy took precedence over profitability and competition. It has only been in the period since the economic deregulation of airlines in the United States in 1978 that questions of cost efficiency, operating profitability and competitive behavior have become the dominant issues facing airline management.

Today, the global airline industry consists of over 2000 airlines operating more than 23,000 aircraft, providing service to over 3700 airports. In 2006, the world's airlines flew almost 28 million scheduled flight departures and carried over 2 billion passengers. The growth of world air travel has averaged approximately 5% per year over the past 30 years, with substantial yearly variations due both to changing economic conditions and differences in economic growth in different regions of the world. Historically, the annual growth in air travel has been about twice the annual growth in GDP.



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