Thursday, July 31, 2014
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African commercial aviation market worth 900 aircraft over next 20 years – Boeing

altBoeing projects the African market will require 900 new aircraft valued at US$120 billion over the next 20 years, which is up 12% from its 2011 forecast.

“Boeing continues to see Africa’s aviation growth outpace the world average due to a growing middle class and strong demand for business travel. Approximately 70% of the 900 airplanes forecasted will be for growth,” said Mike Warner, Director of Market Analysis for Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “African airlines are also investing in newer, more fuel-efficient airplanes to replace their older fleets.”

Boeing projects the African aviation market will outpace the world average due to strong economic growth in the region. Additionally, the rise in trade with Asian countries is driving the need for increased direct air travel.

The increased demand for airplanes also means an increase in the demand for commercial airline pilots and maintenance technicians. Boeing projects Africa’s aviation industry will need 14,500 pilots and 16,200 maintenance technicians over the next 20 years.

“As Africa’s need for new airplanes soars, so does its need for qualified pilots and technicians, said J Miguel Santos, vice president of Africa for Boeing International and International Sales director for Southern Africa for Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “Boeing recognizes the importance of a qualified workforce to fly and maintain these state-of-the-art airplanes, which is why we are partnering with Africa’s leading aviation schools like the 43 Air School to ensure Africa has a steady stream of qualified pilots and technicians.”

The African economy is projected to grow 4.4% per year over the next 20 years, which is ahead of the world’s economic projection of 3.2%.

“Africa is the second largest and most populous continent after Asia and their long-term economic potential is strong,” said Santos. “Over the next two decades, Africa's economy is forecast to grow faster than the world average, driven largely by demand for natural resources; add that to the growing middle class, and we see a lot of growth in the region.”

The African Development Bank projects that Africa's middle class will grow by more than 700 million people over the next several decades. United Nations data shows that urban dwellers were about 15% of Africa's population in 1950 and are expected to be 50 percent by 2030--a trajectory similar to that of Asia.

“African carriers will continue to need to modernize their fleets to compete on routes historically dominated by foreign carriers,” said Warner. “Africa has one of the oldest airline fleets in the world and this is a market that demands newer, more fuel efficient airplanes to help offset the rising cost of fuel and the excessive maintenance costs of the ageing fleet.”

Strong demand exists to support increased non-stop routes between Africa and other emerging markets, as well as Europe and North America. While single-aisle aircraft will account for the majority of the deliveries over the next 20 years, twin-aisle fleets will evolve in the region as airlines continue to expand international services, Boeing predicts.

Boeing representatives are in Johannesburg this week to participate in the annual Aviation Outlook Conference, which examines the potentials strategy and investment for airlines and airports, exhibits aviation solutions, explores innovation in the aircraft industry and meeting consumer demand.