Forecast: More Than 17,300 New Aircraft Will Be Needed By
More than 17,300 new passenger and
freight aircraft with a value of US$1.9 trillion will be required
by aircraft operators between 2004 and 2023, according to the
latest Airbus Global Market Forecast.
Airbus forecasts that 16,600 new passenger aircraft of more than
100 seats will be needed in the coming 20-year period, creating an
average delivery of 830 passenger aircraft per year. This
requirement results from a three-fold growth in passenger traffic,
or an average annual traffic growth in revenue passenger kilometers
(RPKs) of 5.3 per cent, and the replacement of 9,200 less
fuel-efficient passenger aircraft through to 2023.
Air freight is forecast to grow even faster, with freight tonne
kilometers (FTKs) increasing annually by 5.9 per cent over the same
period, generating the need for more than 700 new and 2,400
Overall this period includes the strongest traffic-growth
recovery seen since 1980 and highlights the resilience of the
industry to the effects of recent world events.
The strong economic development of the Asia-Pacific region,
especially in emerging economies, and the increasing impact of
low-cost carriers in all domestic markets will significantly
contribute to this growth. The nine trillion RPKs forecast in 2023
will largely be generated in Europe (32 per cent), Asia-Pacific (31
per cent) and North America (26 per cent).
To accommodate this three-fold growth in passenger traffic, the
number of flights offered on passenger routes and the number of
passenger aircraft in service will more than double in twenty
years, accompanied by the use of larger aircraft. Airbus therefore
forecasts that the average number of seats per passenger aircraft
will increase by 20 per cent from 181 to 215 over this period.
Demand for air travel will result in the expansion of
international traffic through the development of new routes as well
as through consolidation of the major hubs. The bulk of the traffic
growth will be driven by the concentration of population, wealth
and industrial activities as well as the desire for low fares.
Accounting for 22 per cent of the value of all new aircraft
delivered in the next 20 years, as many as 1,650 new large
passenger and freight aircraft worth US$416 billion will be
required. This includes 1,250 new passenger aircraft seating 450 or
more passengers, of which more than half will serve the
high-density population centers in Asia-Pacific. Bigger, more
spacious and more economical than anything flying today, new large
passenger aircraft will enable airlines to meet growing demand for
air travel despite increasing congestion in the air and on the
ground, while their lower operating costs will allow operators to
respond both to intensifying competition and to the increasing
price-sensitivity of demand for air travel as markets mature.
The requirement for twin-aisle passenger aircraft will continue
to grow strongly with 4,450 new twin-aisle aircraft worth US$682
billion, or 38 per cent of the global value of new passenger
aircraft, being delivered in the next two decades. Twin-aisle types
will operate in diverse markets, covering short/medium-range
operations with aircraft like the A330 as well as longer-range
routes with types such as the A350 and A340. Two-thirds of all new
twin-aisle aircraft will be delivered to airlines in Europe and
Asia-Pacific, stimulated by increasing tourism and the
internationalization of business. Within the twin-aisle category,
airlines will need as many as 3,100 aircraft of 250-300 seats, a
market targeted by the A330 and its A350 sistership.
Single-aisle aircraft with more than 100 seats will continue to
dominate the world’s passenger fleet with more than 15,100
such aircraft being in service by 2023. Deliveries of 10,900 new
single-aisle aircraft worth US$761 billion at current list prices
will be needed in the next two decades. More than two thirds of new
single-aisle aircraft will be delivered to the US and Europe where
there are more dispersed population centers, while the increasing
presence of low-cost operators in Asia-Pacific will provide another
important factor driving demand.
Influenced by increasing freight traffic flows from Asia and by
the retirement of two-thirds of freighters currently in service, as
many as 3,100 freighter deliveries will be required through to
2023, although three quarters of these will be converted passenger
aircraft. The large freighter segment will experience the strongest
growth over this period and will account for more than half the
number and two-thirds of the value of all new freighters.
The Airbus Global Market Forecast analyses world traffic
development as well as the year-by-year fleet evolution of the
world’s largest (309) airlines and (121) subsidiaries and
(131) freight operators for the next 20 years, taking into account
all the driving factors and market dynamics that influence
development of the current and future air transport system.