Airbus: 28,000+ passenger and freight aircraft needed by 2031

Airbus' latest Global Market Forecast identifies the need for some 28,200 passenger and freight aircraft between 2012 and 2031, valued at about US$4 trillion. Passenger traffic is expected to grow at an average annual rate of about 4.7 percent.

Airbus (Toulouse, France) reported on Sept. 4 that its latest Global Market Forecast (GMF) identifies a need for some 28,200 passenger and freighter aircraft (of 100 seats or more) between 2012 and 2031, worth nearly US$4.0 trillion, reconfirming an upward trend in the pace of new aircraft deliveries. Of these, more than 27,350 will be passenger aircraft valued at US$ 3.7 trillion.

Passenger traffic will grow at an average annual rate of 4.7 percent in the next 20 years, during which some 10,350 aircraft will be replaced by new efficient models. By 2031 the world’s passenger fleet will have expanded by 110 percent from slightly more than 15,550 today to more than 32,550. In the same period, the world’s freighter fleet will almost double from 1,600 to 3,000 aircraft.

Emerging economic regions will represent more than half of all traffic growth in the next 20 years. Increasing urbanization and the doubling of the world’s middle classes to 5 billion people is also driving growth. By 2031, mega cities will more than double to 92 and more than 90 percent of the world’s traffic will be between or through these points.

“Aside from growth in international traffic, by 2031 four of the world’s biggest traffic flows will all be domestic — U.S., China, Intra Western Europe and India — and these account for a third of world traffic,” says John Leahy, Airbus COO Customers. “In 20 years from now, China’s domestic passenger traffic will overtake the U.S. domestic traffic to become the number one traffic flow in our forecast. Aviation is not just essential for international commerce, but also for domestic economies too.”

Asia Pacific will account for 35 percent of all new aircraft deliveries, followed by Europe and North America with 21 percent each. In value terms, the single biggest market is China followed by the U.S., UAE and India.

More than 1,700 Very Large Aircraft (VLA — 400 seats and greater) like the A380 will have been delivered by 2031, valued at US$600 billion. Of these, more than 1,330 are passenger aircraft valued at some US$500 billion (13 percent by value of passenger deliveries, 5 percent of units). Asia Pacific leads demand (46 percent) for these high-capacity aircraft, followed by the Middle East (23 percent) and Europe (19 percent).

Demand for twin-aisle aircraft (250 to 400 seats), like the A330 and the A350 XWB, some 6,970 new passenger and freighter aircraft will be delivered valued at some US$1.7 trillion. Of these, 6,500 are passenger aircraft valued at US$1.6 trillion (44 percent by value of passenger deliveries, 24 percent of units). Leading demand is Asia Pacific (46 percent), Europe (17 percent) and the North America (13 percent)

In the next 20 years, more than 19,500 single-aisle aircraft worth more than US$1.6 trillion will be delivered (43 percent of passenger deliveries by value, 71 percent by units). A third of deliveries will be in Asia-Pacific followed by North America (25 percent) and Europe (22 percent). Some 30 percent of all deliveries in this category will be for Low Cost Carriers.