Airbus raises forecast for demand
Airbus has raised its forecast for plane demand over the next 20 years, led by growth in Asia, despite concerns about global economic growth and trade wars between the US, Europe and China. The European plane maker said the world’s fleet of passenger jets and freighters would more than double to 47,680 aircraft by 2038, down from the size of the future fleet Airbus had forecast in a forecast a year ago. But the demand for new jets needed to reach that total has been revised upwards because Airbus believes airlines will replace a greater proportion of jets than previously thought.
Airbus said it now expects airlines and leasing companies to take delivery of 39,210 new passenger jets and freighters over the next two decades compared to 37,389 previously forecast. Airbus however shaved its forecast for average 20-year traffic growth to 4.3 percent a year from 4.4 percent in its previous report.
At a conference in London, Airbus also forecast that the world will need 550,000 new pilots and 640,000 new technicians.
Reflecting today’s evolving aircraft technology, Airbus has simplified its segmentation to consider capacity, range and mission type. For example, a short haul A321 is Small (S) while the long-haul A321LR or XLR can be categorised as Medium (M). While the core market for the A330 is classified as Medium (M), it is likely a number will continue to be operated by airlines in a way that sits within the Large (L) market segmentation along with the A350 XWB.
The new segmentation gives rise to a need for 39,210 new passenger and freighter aircraft -29,720 Small (S), 5,370 Medium (M) and 4,120 Large (L) – according to Airbus’ latest Global Market Forecast 2019-2038. Of these, 25,000 aircraft are for growth and 14,210 are to replace older models.
“The 4 percent annual growth reflects the resilient nature of aviation, weathering short term economic shocks and geo-political disturbances. Economies thrive on air transportation. People and goods want to connect,” said Christian Scherer, Airbus chief commercial officer and head of Airbus International. “Globally, commercial aviation stimulates GDP growth and supports 65 million livelihoods, demonstrating the immense benefits our business brings to all societies and global trade.”