The first characteristic of air transport, compared with other transport modes,
is that it essentially cannot be replaced by alternative means of transportation
for long and very long-distance travel. The development of air travel has made
it possible to connect any points in the world in less than a day, whereas the
same journey would have taken several days or even weeks at the beginning
of the 20th century. In this sense, the development of air transport has revolutionized
the mobility model of Western societies and has been one of the
elements which fostered the important globalization movement that characterized
the second half of the 20th century. In addition to intercontinental links,
for a number of geographical regions – particularly islands – air routes are
now a near-vital need. For example, Indonesia, which is a very insular territory,
carries each year a number of passengers (in domestic flights) equivalent to
15% of its population.

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