In the next 20 years (2016-2035), according to Airbus’ Global Market Forecast, passenger traffic will grow at an average 4.5% a year, driving a need for more than 33,000 new aircraft above 100 seats (32,425 passenger & 645 freighters greater than 10 tonnes) worth US$5.2 trillion. By 2035, the world’s aircraft fleet will have doubled from today’s 19,500 aircraft to almost 40,000. Some 13,000 passenger and freighter aircraft will be replaced with more fuel efficient types.
Urbanization and increased wealth in emerging economies particularly in Asia is powering air traffic growth. With a combined population of more than six billion people, these economies will grow at 5.6% per year and the propensity to travel will triple to 75% of its population. Within 10 years China’s domestic air traffic will become the world’s largest. In economies such as Western Europe or North America, air traffic growth will be 3.7% percent.
While GDP remains a key driver in traffic growth, Airbus sees private consumption (a component of GDP) becoming a more significant economic variable on some important flows including domestic China and domestic India. Middle classes in emerging markets will double to 3.5 billion people by 2035.
Globally, by 2035, 62% of world population will be city dwellers and the number of aviation mega cities will rise from 55 to 93 by 2035. These centres of wealth creation many 47 of which are already schedule constrained airports will account for 35% of world GDP.
In 20 years the number of daily long haul passengers travelling to, from, or via aviation mega cities, will more than double to 2.5 million.
The next 20 years sees a requirement for some one million pilots and engineers (560,000 new pilots, 540,000 new engineers) to fly the and maintain the new aircraft.
In the widebody market, Airbus forecasts a trend towards higher capacity aircraft and forecasts a requirement for more than 9,500 widebody passenger and freighter aircraft over the next 20 years, valued at some US$2.8 trillion.
This represents 29% of all new aircraft deliveries and 54% by value. Most widebody deliveries (46%) will be in the Asia Pacific region.
A focus on sustainable growth has enabled fuel burn and noise reductions to fall by at least 70% over the the last 40 years.