Airbus’ new Global Market Forecast is projecting that close to 37,390 new aircraft valued at US$5.8 trillion will be required between 2018 and 2037 to meet the increasing demand in air travel.
The projection is based on the world’s passenger fleet which is expected to more than double to 48,000 aircraft in 20 years with traffic growing at a resilient 4.4 per cent per year, driving a need for 37,390 new passenger and freighter aircraft.
Growth drivers include private consumption increasing 2.4 times in emerging economies, higher disposable incomes and a near doubling of the middle classes globally.
Emerging countries will account for over 60 per cent of economic growth, with trips per capita to multiply 2.5 times for these countries across the world.
Combined with evolving airline business models and continuing liberalisation, the growing scale of air transportation will lead to an increasing resilience to regional slowdowns.
Greater aircraft range and capacity through technological developments allow airlines the flexibility to explore new business opportunities, while maintaining focus on cost reduction.
Commenting on the trend, the Chief Commercial Officer of Airbus, Mr Eric Schulz, in a statement observed that there was a growing trend to use aircraft across a broader range of operations, with today’s more capable aircraft blurring the boundaries between market segments.
He said these realities made aircraft manufacturer develop a new segmentation with small, medium, large and extra-large categories, reflecting more closely to the way airlines operate aircraft.
“Thanks to the versatility of our leading, most comprehensive family of aircraft, the top end of our single aisles, the A321neo, fly efficiently on long haul routes and our wide bodies like the A330neo equally serve regional operations. We are extremely strong in this medium-market segment,” he said.
Airbus already leads in the small segment with the A320neo and in the large segment with the A350-900. In the extra-large segment, the market for replacement of aircraft is just starting and provides opportunities for the very efficient A350-1000 combined with the A380.
Looking at the four segmentations closely, Mr Schulz noted that in the small-segment typically covering the space where most of today’s single-aisle aircraft compete, there was a forecast future requirement for 28,550 new aircraft, representing more than three-quarters of total expected demand.
According to him, in the medium-segment, for missions requiring additional capacity and range flexibility, represented by smaller widebodies and longer-range single-aisle aircraft, Airbus forecasts demand for 5,480 passenger and freight aircraft.
He said for additional capacity and range flexibility, in the large-segment where most A350s are present today, there was a need for 1,760 aircraft.
“In the extra-large segment, typically reflecting high capacity and long range missions by the largest aircraft types including the A350-1000 and the A380, Airbus forecasts demand for 1,590 aircraft over the next 20 years.
Airbus is a global leader in aeronautics, space and related services. In 2017, it generated revenues of € 59 billion restated for IFRS 15 and employed a workforce of around 129,000.
Airbus offers the most comprehensive range of passenger airliners from 100 to more than 600 seats.
It is also a European leader providing tanker, combat, transport and mission aircraft, as well as one of the world’s leading space companies. In helicopters, Airbus provides the most efficient civil and military rotorcraft solutions worldwide. —GB