Airbus sees demand for over 27 800 aircraft in the next 20 years


Troubled financial markets aside, airline manufacturer Airbus foresees strong ongoing demand for commercial aircraft: some 27 800 new aircraft by 2030 according to its latest Global Market Forecast (GMF).

The combined value of the over 26 900 passenger aircraft (above 100 seats) and more than 900 new factory built freighters forecast by the GMF is US$3.5 trillion.

As a result, by 2030 the global passenger fleet will more than double from today’s 15 000 aircraft to 31 500. This will include some 27 800 new aircraft deliveries of which 10 500 will be needed for replacing older less fuel efficient aircraft. The trend towards larger aircraft will continue, in order for the aviation sector to keep pace with future growth in demand.

People need and want to fly more than ever before. Over the next 20 years the aviation sector is expected to remain resilient to cyclical economic conditions as in the past. Airbus forecasts that Revenue Passenger Kilometres (RPKs) will grow by an average 4.8 per cent per year, which is equivalent to traffic more than doubling in the next 20 years.

Factors driving demand for new aircraft include population growth with increasing wealth, dynamic growth in emerging economies, strong continued growth in North America and European markets, greater urbanisation and a more than doubling in the number of mega cities by 2030. Drivers also include the ongoing expansion of low cost carriers, and the need to replace older less efficient aircraft with new eco-efficient models in established markets.

Geographically, over the next 20 years, Asia-Pacific will account for approximately 34% of demand, followed by Europe (22%) and North America (22%). By share of passenger traffic, Asia-Pacific will be the biggest market with 33%, followed by Europe (23%) and North America (20%).

In terms of passenger traffic on domestic markets, India (9.8%) and China (7.2%) will have the fastest growth rates over the next 20 years. Long established aviation markets will also continue to grow with the Domestic US (11.1%) and Intra Western Europe (7.5%) having the first and third largest shares of the total traffic in 2030.
“The aviation sector is an essential element for today’s global economy which is why more people than ever need and want to fly,” says John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer Customers. “Airbus is bringing to market the latest innovations and eco-efficient products to satisfy the needs of airlines and the expectations of passengers now and in the years to come.”

By 2030, 60% of the world’s population – or some five billion people – will be urbanised and the number of mega cities will have more than doubled to 87 from today’s 39. It is also forecast that over 90% of long haul travellers will fly between these mega city points.

Demand for Very Large Aircraft (VLA) seating more than 400 passengers, like the A380, has risen over 2010 forecasts from 1738 to 1781 aircraft valued at US$600 billion. This represents a 17% share by value or six per cent share by aircraft units. Of these, nearly 1330 are passenger aircraft needed to cater for the concentrated traffic volumes linking the world’s mega cities. Regionally, some 45% of the world’s VLA’s will be delivered to Asia, 19% to Europe and 23% to the Middle East.

In the twin-aisle aircraft segment (seating from 250 to 400 passengers), some 6900 new passenger and freighter aircraft will be delivered in the next 20 years doubling the fleet of today by 2030. These deliveries are valued at some US$1.500 billion, representing 43% share by value, or 25% share by units. Of these, some 4800 aircraft will be small twin-aisle (250 to 300 seater) and about 2100 intermediate twin aisles (350 to 400 seater). These segments are covered by the A330 and the A350 XWB family.

In the single-aisle segment, nearly 19 200 aircraft worth some US$1.400 billion or 40% share by value, 69% share by units, will be delivered in the next 20 years. This is an increase over previous forecasts due to increased growth and acceleration in the replacement of older less efficient aircraft. Of the new deliveries, some 40 per cent will be required to replacement needs. In addition some 50 per cent of single aisle aircraft deliveries will go to the well established aviation markets of North America and Europe.