The world’s passenger aircraft fleet with over 100 seats is set to more than double in the next 20 years to over 40,000 planes, with traffic set to grow at 4.4% per year according to Airbus’s latest Global Market Forecast for 2017-2036.
A doubling in the commercial fleet over the next 20 years is expected to see a need for 530,000 new pilots and 550,000 new maintenance engineers. This coincides with Airbus’s expansion of its global network of training locations, up from five to 16 in the space of three years.
The forecast found air traffic growth is highest in emerging markets such as China, India, the rest of Asia and Latin America, and almost double the 3.2% per year growth forecast in mature markets such as North America and Western Europe. Emerging markets that are currently home to 6.4 billion of the world’s 7.4 billion population will account for nearly 50% of the world’s private consumption by 2036.
Over the next 20 years, Asia-Pacific is set to take 41% of new deliveries, followed by Europe with 20% and North America at 16%. Middle class numbers will almost double to nearly five billion as wealth creation makes aviation more accessible, particularly in emerging economies where spending on air travel services is predicted to double.
John Leahy, chief operating officer for customers at Airbus Commercial Aircraft, said, “Air travel is remarkably resilient to external shocks and doubles every 15 years. Asia-Pacific continues to be an engine for growth, with domestic China to become the world’s largest market.
“Disposable incomes are growing and in emerging economies the number of people taking a flight will nearly triple between now and 2036.”
In the twin aisle segment, such as the A330 Family, A350 XWB Family and the A380, Airbus forecasts a requirement for around 10,100 aircraft valued at US$2.9tn.
In the single aisle segment, such at the A320neo Family, Airbus forecasts a requirement for approximately 24,810 aircraft valued at US$2.4tn. In 2016, the A321 represented over 40% of single aisle deliveries and over 60% of single aisle orders.