Strong growth in airliner numbers and seating capacity is foreseen by Airbus’ 2011-2030 Global Market Forecast

Strong growth in airliner numbers and seating capacity is foreseen by Airbus’ 2011-2030 Global Market Forecast
19 September 2011 Headline news

The continuing “democratization” of air transport – driven by emerging economies, a global increase in wealth, greater urbanization, the need for more eco-efficient aircraft and a nearly doubling of major airport hubs for mega-cities – will lead to the demand for more than 26,900 new passenger airliners and over 900 new factory-built cargo aircraft during the next 20 years, according to Airbus’ latest Global Market Forecast.

Unveiled at a press conference today in London, the 2011-2030 Global Market Forecast foresees an overall doubling of the global passenger airliner fleet sized at 100 seats and more, increasing from 15,000 aircraft today to 31,500 by 2030.  The average seat capacity of aircraft also will continue to increase as air traffic retains its positive growth curve.

“Key factors identified in our new 20-year forecast include a strong driving of traffic growth by the emerging economies, the nearly doubling of traffic in and between more mature markets, and the positioning of Asia-Pacific as the leader in world traffic,” John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer Customers, told reporters at the press conference. “Other factors are a faster growth in long-haul traffic than short-haul, while the 39 cities worldwide that handle more than 10,000 long-haul passengers daily today will become nearly 90 cities in 20 years.”

The largest category for new aircraft in terms of requirement numbers is the single-aisle segment, in which Airbus is a leading supplier with its A320 and A320neo jetliner Families.  The need for nearly 19,200 single-aisle aircraft with capacities of 100-210 seats is anticipated by the Airbus Global Market Forecast during the 20-year timeframe, representing a combined value of some $1.4 trillion.  Of this total, approximately 50 per cent of the deliveries are anticipated in the well-established North American and European airline markets.

For the twin-aisle category, which typically seats from 250 to 400 passengers, the Airbus Global Market Forecast sees a broad segmentation with broad demand.  A doubling of the worldwide twin-aisle fleet will result in deliveries of some 6,900 new passenger and freighter aircraft during the 20 year period – valued at an estimated $1.5 trillion.  For passenger aircraft, an estimated 70 per cent of the demand will be focussed on the 250-seat and 300-seat segments.  Airbus’ product lines in the twin-aisle category are the A330 passenger and freighter aircraft, along with the next-generation A350 XWB Family.

In the Very Large Aircraft (VLA) category with seating capacities of more than 400 passengers, the Airbus Global Market Forecast calls for the requirement of 1,781 jetliners valued at some $600 billion – an increase in demand from the 1,738 aircraft estimated by the 2010 forecast.  Of the total, 45 per cent of VLA deliveries are expected for Asian airlines, followed by 23 percent for carriers in the Middle East and 19 per cent for European airlines.  The VLA category is addressed by Airbus’ 21st century A380 flagship, which was developed for the growing requirement of high capacity aircraft to handle concentrated traffic volumes that link the world’s mega-cities and large airport hubs.

The Airbus Global Market Forecast is a regularly-updated 20-year outlook on aircraft demand and passenger flows, taking into account econometric forecasts that are complemented by market research and judgment.  It involves detailed studies of network evolution – including new routes, markets and deregulation “hot spots” – and anticipates the fleet evolution covering hundreds of passenger airlines and cargo carriers.

  • For a detailed review of the 2011-2030 outlook, visit the Airbus website’s interactive Global Market Forecast section, which includes the full report focussed on passenger transport development, along with a pocket guide version; as well as the press conference presentation slides of John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer Customers, and Chris Emerson, Airbus Senior Vice President, Head of Product Strategy and Market Forecast; and a video interview with Leahy.  A separate Global Market Forecast for freighter aircraft will be issued at a later date, reflecting its importance to Airbus and the industry.

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