Airbus says aircraft market worth $4 trillion over next 20 years

Posted on 5 Sep 2012

Increasing demand will result in the need for over 28,000 aircraft in the next 20 years, says Airbus, putting the market's value at $4 trillion during that period.

Airbus says that over 10,000 passenger jets are set to be replaced by newer more fuel efficient models with the additional demand coming from the Far East.

Airbus’ 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 $4.0 trillion, reconfirming an upward trend in the pace of new aircraft deliveries. Of these over 27,350 will be passenger aircraft valued at $3.7 trillion.

According to Airbus’ research, passenger traffic will grow at an average annual rate of 4.7% 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 more than doubled from 15,550 today to over 32,550. In the same period, the world’s freighter fleet, which transports goods around the world, 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 urbanisation and the doubling of the world’s middle classes to five billion people is also driving growth.

By 2031 mega cities (places with more than 10 million people) will more than double to 92 and over 90 percent of the world’s traffic will be between or through these points.

“Aside from growth in international traffic, four of the world’s biggest traffic flows will all be domestic – US, China, Intra Western Europe and India – by 2031 and these account for a third of world traffic,” says John Leahy, CEO for customers at Airbus.

“In 20 years from now, China’s domestic passenger traffic will overtake the US in 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% of all new aircraft deliveries, followed by Europe and North America with 21% each. In value terms, the single biggest market is China followed by the US, UAE and India.

Over 46% of deliveries for very large aircraft (400 seats and above like the A380) will come from Asia Pacific, with approximately 850 set to be delivered to the region by 2031.

Over 1,700 very large aircraft will have been delivered by 2031, says Airbus, valuing demand at $600bn, with 23% of this demand coming from the Middle East and 19% from Europe.