Market for 1780 transports, tankers over next 30 years: Airbus

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Global planemakers will build and sell some 1780 light, medium and heavy transports as well as aerial refuelling tankers cum multi-role transports (MRTT) for the military and civil markets in the three decades to 2040. This means a demand for about 80 new aircraft a year.

Airbus Senior Vice President: Commercial Antonio Rodriguez Barberán says this market segments into roughly 1250 light and medium aircraft, translating to 52% of units but just 20% of value. Aircraft falling in this segment include the Airbus Military C212, C235 and C295. Barberán saw a market for 180 heavy aircraft, including the A400M, segmenting as 33% of volume and 43% of value. Barberán was speaking Tuesday at an Airbus Military trade media briefing – attended by defenceWeb – in Sevilla, Spain, where the large airlifter is built. His figure was somewhat at odds though with the prediction by Airbus A400M programme head Cedric Gautier that the company could sell up to 400 A400M to civil and military operators in addition to the 174 now on order.

Barberán sees a need for 350 tanker/MRTT aircraft, accounting for 15% of the volume and 37% of the value. Likely buyers range from the military to government agencies involved in law enforcement, maritime safety and environmental protection to civil operators including charter and leasing companies. Uses for these aircraft cover the spectrum from logistic support to deployed military forces, whether employed in combat, peacekeeping, or training; rapid response to natural disasters; meeting humanitarian needs; oil spill response; drug traffic and immigrant control; anti-piracy missions and search and rescue.



Turning to existing inventory, Barberán counted 630 tanker/MRTT aircraft with an average age of 44 years. Of these 19 were flying with Middle East/North African (MENA) air forces. There are none south of the Sahara. Airbus claimed 10% of this market. In the heavy segment, some 2450 aircraft are currently flying, 39% of these being Airbus products. Of the 2450 aircraft, 45 flew in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and 205 in the MENA region. The average age was 24 in the heavy segment and 26 in the light and medium market, where some 3240 aircraft are now active, including 240 in SSA and 200 in MENA. This totalled an active fleet of some 6300 aircraft with an average age of 27.