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17 June 2008
17. June 2008 Commercial Aircraft

Mexico needs almost 500 passenger airliners in the next 20 years


In the 20-year period covered by its latest Global Market Forecast, Airbus foresees a demand among Mexican airlines for nearly 500 passenger aircraft with 100 seats or more - a figure which represents one third of all aircraft acquisitions by the Latin American market over that period.

Airbus foresees that Mexican airlines will need almost 500 passenger aircraft above 100 seats over the next 20 years to meet demand for traffic growth as well as aircraft replacement. This is one third of the overall demand of some 1,450 aircraft for Latin America over the period.

The Mexican passenger aircraft fleet of above 100 seats is expected to nearly triple in the 20 year period, growing from 233 aircraft in service in 2006 to nearly 680 by 2026. This will represent a value at current list price of US$ 35 billion. Taking also into account retirements, the new aircraft will include some 450 short haul - single-aisle aircraft, which are currently prominent in the region's fleet, and 30 mediums to long-range wide-body aircraft to satisfy strong international travel growth.

The increase in demand for new aircraft is the consequence of the strong passenger traffic growth in Mexico. Since the year 2000, international passenger traffic increased by 71 per cent, while domestic traffic rose by 54 per cent. With a yearly forecasted growth of 5.8 per cent for the next 20 years Mexican travel growth is well above the world average of 4.9 per cent.

This strong demand for air transport in Mexico is driven by high economic growth, forecast to further increase by four per cent per year over the next 20 years. In addition, sustained tourism development, especially from and to the US and Europe, has seen tourism income triple over the last 20 years. Domestic traffic is accentuated by concentration of population in large cities and long inner-country distances with scarce ground transportation. Low cost airlines today have a 33 per cent market share, up from ten per cent in 2005, and this has also stimulated domestic demand by opening air travel to almost eight million additional Mexican passengers within the past two years.

"Mexico is and remains a key market for Airbus, with impressive economic growth figures and strong and constant international and domestic demand. Development of long haul and short haul routes will continue to grow, with the A380, the brand new A350 XWB and the best-selling A320 Family responding perfectly to market needs. Within the last five years, we have achieved 56% of the order intake, and we foresee to get even stronger within the next years", said Rafael Alonso, Senior Vice President Latin America, Spain and Caribbean of Airbus.

Mexican airlines have already chosen Airbus as the right answer for the demand of their market. Airbus customer since 1990, Mexicana de Aviacion was also the first airline to put the A318 aircraft into service in 2003. Since then its Airbus fleet has increased considerably, the airline having now 60 Airbus aircraft in operation (ten A318s, 20 A319s and 30 A320s). Mexicana is the second largest Airbus operator in the region. With Volaris and Interjet, Airbus gained two more major customers in Mexico. In 2006, Volaris signed a firm contract for the purchase of up to 56 new A320 aircraft, of which it already operates 15. In 2007, it increased its contract, ordering 14 more A319s. Interjet became an Airbus operator in the region in 2005, when it ordered up to 20 A320s. Today it operates a fleet of eleven A320s, with another 16 on order. In addition, Mexican Aerounion operates three A300 freighter aircraft.

Since 1998, Airbus has taken 63 per cent of the order intake in Latin America to date. Today, 305 Airbus aircraft are flying with 22 Latin American airlines, which represents around 35 per cent of the passenger fleet in service today. By 2010, this figure will have risen to 50 per cent.

Read the feature stories on Airbus' Global Market Forecast for the following countries/regions:

Global Market Forecast for North America
Global Market Forecast for Russia
Global Market Forecast for the Nordic countries
Global Market Forecast for Spain
Global Market Forecast for Brazil
Global Market Forecast for the Chinese Mainland
Global Market Forecast for Argentina
Global Market Forecast for Central Europe
Global Market Forecast for Germany

See the special Airbus website section with the
complete 2007-2026 Global Market Forecast

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