North American carriers saw the number of passengers flown in the region grow by 4.8 percent in 2018, compared with the previous year, to 989.4 million passengers, 22.6 percent of the global total, according to a new performance report from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Worldwide, 4.4 billion passengers flew in 2018, with carriers reporting an 81.9 percent load factor overall, while fuel efficiency improved by more than 12 percent, the IATA report found.

American Airlines was the top global carrier in terms of total kilometers flown in 2018, following by Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, Emirates and Southwest Airlines.

The top five nationalities traveling internationally were the United Kingdom (126.2 million), following by the U.S. (111.5 million, or 7.6% of all passengers), People’s Republic of China, Germany and France, the report said.

”Airlines are connecting more people and places than ever before,” Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director general and CEO, says in a statement accompanying the new statistics. “As with any human activity this comes with an environmental cost that airlines are committed to reducing. And, by 2050, we will cut our net carbon footprint to half 2005 levels. This ambitious climate action goal needs government support. It is critical for sustainable aviation fuels, new technology and more efficient routes to deliver the greener future we are aiming for.”