Airbus predicts need for 28 000 aircraft over next 20 years


The global aviation industry will require more than 28 000 aircraft over the next two decades, spurred by demand for new, more fuel efficient aircraft. Airbus believes that over 10 000 passenger jets will be replaced by more efficient models.

In its latest Global Market Forecast (GMF), Airbus said the need for some 28 200 passenger and freighter aircraft (of 100 seats or more) between 2012 and 2031 is worth nearly US$4.0 trillion, reconfirming an upward trend in the pace of new aircraft deliveries. Of these, over 27 350 will be passenger aircraft valued at US$3.7 trillion.

Airbus predicts that passenger traffic will grow at an average annual rate of 4.7 percent in the next 20 years, during which some 10 350 aircraft will be replaced by new, more fuel efficient models. By 2031 the world’s passenger fleet will have expanded by 110 percent from slightly over 15 550 today to over 32 550. In the same period, the world’s freighter fleet will almost double from 1 600 to 3 000 aircraft.

Emerging economic regions will represent more than half of all traffic growth in the next 20 years, according to the latest Airbus forecast. “Increasing urbanisation and the doubling of the world’s middle classes to five billion people is also driving growth. By 2031 mega cities will more than double to 92 and over 90 percent of the world’s traffic will be between or through these points,” the forecast said.
“Aside from growth in international traffic, by 2031 four of the world’s biggest traffic flows will all be domestic – US, China, Intra Western Europe and India – and these account for a third of world traffic,” said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer Customers. “In 20 years from now, China’s domestic passenger traffic will overtake the US domestic traffic to become the number one traffic flow in our forecast. Aviation is not just essential for international commerce, but also for domestic economies too.”

Airbus predicts that Asia Pacific will account for 35 percent of all new aircraft deliveries, followed by Europe and North America with 21 percent each. In value terms, the single biggest market is China followed by the US, UAE and India.

Over 1,700 Very Large Aircraft (VLA – 400 seats and above) will have been delivered by 2031, valued at US$600 billion. Of these over 1 330 are passenger aircraft valued at some US$500 billion (13 percent by value of passenger deliveries, 5 percent of units). Asia Pacific leads demand (46 percent) for these high capacity aircraft, followed by the Middle East (23 percent) and Europe (19 percent).

Demand for twin-aisle aircraft (250 to 400 seats), some 6 970 new passenger and freighter aircraft, will be delivered, valued at some US$1.7 trillion. Of these, 6 500 are projected to be passenger aircraft valued at US$1.6 trillion (44 percent by value of passenger deliveries, 24 percent of units). Leading demand is Asia Pacific (46 percent), Europe (17 percent) and the North America (13 percent)

In the next 20 years, over 19 500 single-aisle aircraft worth over US$1.6 trillion will be delivered (43 percent of passenger deliveries by value, 71 percent by units). A third of deliveries will be in Asia Pacific followed by North America (25 percent) and Europe (22 percent). Some 30 percent of all deliveries in this category will be for Low Cost Carriers, Airbus said.