Airbus foresees demand for 25,000 aircraft in next 20 years
Some 25,000 new passenger and freighter aircraft valued at US$3.1 trillion will be delivered from 2009 to 2028, according to Airbus’ latest Global Market Forecast.
Emerging economies, evolving airline networks, expansion of low cost carriers and the increasing number of mega-cities as well as traffic growth and the replacement of older less efficient aircraft with more eco-efficient airliners are factors driving demand for new aircraft.
Larger aircraft in all size categories are required to help ease aircraft congestion and to accommodate growth on existing routes and to achieve more with less. Compared to timescales for aircraft investment and fleet turnover, economic down cycles are relatively short and a strong underlying demand for air travel will drive growth. In 2009, a decline in Revenue Passenger Kilometres (RPK’s) of two per cent is expected to be followed by a rise of 4.6 per cent in 2010.
The forecast anticipates that in the next 20 years, passenger traffic RPK’s will remain resilient to the cyclical effects of the sector and increase by 4.7 per cent per year or double in the next 15 years. This will require a demand for almost 24,100 new passenger aircraft valued at US$2.9 trillion. With the replacement of some 10,000 older passenger aircraft, the world’s passenger aircraft fleet of 100 seats or more will double from some 14,000 today
Airfreight tonne kilometres (FTKs) is forecast to increasing annually by 5.2 per cent. Combined with fleet renewal, this creates a demand for some 3,440 freighters. More than 850 of these are new aircraft valued at US$210 billion, with the remainder converted from passenger aircraft.
The greatest demand for passenger aircraft will be from airlines in Asia-Pacific and emerging markets. The region that includes the People’s Republic of China and India accounts for 31 per cent of the total, followed by Europe (25 per cent) and North America (23 per cent). In terms of domestic passenger markets, India (10 per cent) and China (7.9 per cent) will have the fastest growth over the next 20 years. The largest by volume of traffic, will remain domestic US.
Airbus foresees demand for Very Large Aircraft (VLA) seating more than 400 passengers, like the A380, at above 1,700. Valued at US$571 billion, this represents 19 per cent by value of passenger and freighter aircraft deliveries, or seven per cent of aircraft units. Of these, nearly 1,318 will be needed to link the world’s most dynamic destination ‘mega’ cities, which are steadily increasing in number and size. This inevitably leads to a greater concentration of traffic. More than 50 per cent of the world’s VLA’s will be operated by airlines in the Asia Pacific region.