Asia takes to the skies to create £1 trillion aircraft market

Posted on 25 Feb 2013

Asian airlines will take delivery of nearly 10,000 new passenger and cargo aircraft over the next 20 years, valued at $1.6 trillion, according to the latest market forecast by plane maker Airbus.

This represents 35% of all new aircraft deliveries worldwide over the next 20 years, pushing the Asian market ahead of Europe and North America.

With the number of travellers expected to rise by 6% every year, the number of planes operated by Asia-Pacific carriers is predicted to more than double in the next 20 years, from 4,300 aircraft today to 10,440 jets. The majority planes existing in current fleets will also need to be replaced.

Reflecting the high levels of urbanisation in the Asia-Pacific region, traffic will continue to be concentrated around a growing number of major cities, with larger aircraft providing the most efficient means of meeting demand while overcoming airport constraints.

As a result, Airbus predicts that carriers in the region will acquire some 3,840 widebody aircraft over the next 20 years, accounting for 44% of worldwide demand in the larger aircraft categories. Airbus and Boeing dominate this section of the market.

“The Asia-Pacific market is where the action will be in the air transport market over the next 20 years,” said John Leahy, chief operating officer at Airbus. “Growing economies, bigger cities and increasing wealth will see more people flying, driving the need for larger and more efficient aircraft.”

In addition to long haul services, carriers in the region will continue to operate large numbers of mid-size widebodies on regional services, with more routes being served in the future by aircraft carrying more than 400 passengers.

The Asia-Pacific region accounts for 31% of all Airbus orders recorded by the company to date. There are more than 2,100 Airbus aircraft in service across the region but another 1,800 on order for future delivery, over a third of the company’s total backlog.

There is also ongoing growth in the low cost sector, which has increased by 7%  annually for the last ten years. This growth, plus replacement cycles, will generate demand smaller aircraft.

Airbus’ forecast the need for some 28,200 passenger and freighter aircraft valued at nearly $4.0 trillion over the next 20 years.

The region’s cargo sector will continue to dominate the global market as it continues to supply the world with clothes, electronics and household goods.

The dedicated freighter fleet operated by Asia-Pacific airlines will grow from 316 today to 887. Many of the aircraft will be converted from passenger models.