Between 2006 and 2025, some 22,700 new passenger and freight aircraft valued at US$2.6 trillion will be required by aircraft operators, according to the latest Airbus Global Market Forecast. This represents an increase of some 5,400 aircraft compared with the previous one.
Of the newly produced airliners, Airbus forecasts that some 21,900 new passenger aircraft of more than 100 seats will be needed, creating an average delivery close to 1,100 passenger aircraft per year, up from around 800 two years ago. This requirement results from an average annual traffic growth in revenue passenger kilometres (RPKs) of 4.8 per cent, leading to passenger traffic growth of around two and a half times and an increase in the world aircraft fleet of some 14,600 aircraft.
Freight tonne kilometres (FTKs) are forecast to increase by six per cent annually over the same period, generating the need for 3,580 freighter deliveries (mostly conversions), of which 800, or 22 per cent, will be factory-built freighters.
Most significantly, the period will be marked by an increasing demand for new more fuel-efficient airliners, to help address airline operating costs as well as environmental concerns. This factor will lead to a higher replacement rate of over 12,000 aircraft.
“Over the next 20 years the number of passenger aircraft will more than double. Since 2000, new operators as well as strong economic growth especially in emerging economies has fuelled expansion of nearly 30 per cent in available seats”, said John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer Customers. “This trend is continuing with the Asia-Pacific region expected to grow to a third of the worldwide market by 2025”, he added.
Transpacific, Europe to Asia and Transatlantic long haul routes will increase by 60 per cent. Meanwhile, the hub cities, will see their traffic nearly doubling over the next 10 years. New larger aircraft will enable airlines to maximise profit potential as well address environmental and airport congestion constraints.
In the Very Large Aircraft sector, Airbus predicts a demand for 1,660 aircraft valued at US$503 billion or 20 per cent of total sales value, of which some 1,260 are new passenger aircraft. Asia-Pacific will account for 56 per cent of these. The top 20 airport hubs will account for more than two thirds of the world’s destinations of very large aircraft. In addition, there will be a demand for some 400 aircraft over 120 tonne of payload from the Very Large Freighter category.
The requirement for twin-aisle passenger aircraft will continue to grow strongly with some 5,300 new twin-aisle aircraft being delivered in the next two decades. Valued at some US$1,009 billion, this makes up for about 42 per cent of the total value of all passenger aircraft delivered. The largest segment will be in the 250 and 300 seater market with a need for some 3,750 new aircraft. Airbus covers this segment with its A330/A340 family, in addition to the forthcoming A350XWB family of aircraft. Another 1,550 larger twin aisles will be needed in the 300 to 450 seat category, which Airbus can also address with the larger A340-600.
More than 70 per cent of all aircraft delivered within the next 20 years will be single-aisle types (100 - 220 seats), which translates into more than 15,300 aircraft or 42 percent by value of all passenger aircraft delivery. While mainline single aisle aircraft demand will be highest in Europe and North America, in Asia, the low-cost market is expected to quintuple its fleet from 236 to over 1,300 by 2025.
“This forecast shows that aviation is a strong growth industry and one which is also vital for the development of the world economy. As leaders in the newest and most advanced technologies for fuel efficient and low noise aircraft, we recognise and act on the need to be sensitive to environmental concerns”, John Leahy added.
The Airbus Global Market Forecast is the result of a detailed analysis of today’s and tomorrow’s drivers of air transport that quantifies airline demand over the next 20 years. The 2006 Report includes for the first time the Commonwealth of Independent States, and a number of dedicated regional carriers added to the more than 400 airlines already covered.