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Global aviation fleet to double in 20 years, Airbus predicts

Global aviation fleet to double in 20 years, Airbus predicts

The world’s commercial aircraft fleet is set to more than double in size from today’s nearly 23,000 planes by 2038.

According to the latest forecasts from Airbus, almost 48,000 planes will be required over the next two decades.

Traffic is expected to keep growing at 4.3 per cent annually, also resulting in a need for 550,000 new pilots and 640,000 new technicians.

By 2038, of the forecast 47,680 fleet, 39,210 are new and 8,470 remain from today.

Resilient to economic shocks, air traffic has more than doubled since 2000.


It is increasingly playing a key role in connecting large population centres, particularly in emerging markets where the propensity to travel is among the world’s highest as cost or geography make alternatives impossible.

Today, about a quarter of the world’s urban population is responsible for more than a quarter of global GDP, and given both are key growth drivers, aviation mega cities will continue to power the global aviation network.

Developments in superior fuel efficiency are further driving demand to replace existing less fuel-efficient aircraft.

“The four per cent 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.”