Published October 6, 2013
As aviation becomes increasingly accessible in all parts of the world, future journeys will increasingly be made by air particularly to and from emerging markets.
According to Airbus’ latest Global Market Forecast (GMF) in the next 20 years (2013-2032), air traffic will grow at 4.7% annually requiring over 29,220 new passenger and freighter aircraft valued at nearly US$4.4 trillion. Some 28,350 of these are passenger aircraft valued at US$4.1 trillion. Of these, some 10,400 will replace existing aircraft with more efficient ones. With today’s fleet of 17,740 aircraft, it means that by 2032, the worldwide fleet will double to nearly 36,560 aircraft.
Economic growth, growing middle classes, affordability, ease of travel, urbanisation, tourism, and migration are some factors increasing connectivity between people and regions and how often they travel. Increasing urbanisation will lead to a doubling of mega cities from 42 today to 89 by 2032, and 99% of the world’s long-haul traffic will be between or through these.
Traffic growth has led to average aircraft size ‘growing’ by 25% with airlines selecting larger aircraft or up-sizing existing backlogs. Larger aircraft like the A380 combined with higher load factors make the most efficient use of limited slots and contribute to rising passenger numbers without additional flights as announced by London’s Heathrow Airport. A focus on sustainable growth enabled fuel burn and noise reductions of at least 70% in the last 40 years and this trend continues with innovations like the A320neo, the A320 Sharklet, the A380 and the A350 XWB.
“By 2032, Asia-Pacific will lead the world in traffic overtaking Europe and North America. Today on average, a fifth of the population of the emerging markets take a flight annually and by 2032, this will swell to two thirds. The attraction of air travel means that passenger numbers will more than double from today’s 2.9 billion to 6.7 billion by 2032, clearly demonstrating aviation’s essential role in economic growth,” says John Leahy, Chief Operating Officer in charge of Customers at Airbus.
Domestic flows are also set to rise strongly with domestic India growing at the fastest rate (nearly 10%), followed by China and Brazil (7%). Overall, with an above world average traffic growth rate of 5.5%, Asia-Pacific will account for 36% of all new passenger aircraft demand, followed by Europe (20%) and North America (19%).
In the Very Large aircraft market, dominated by the A380, there is a requirement for 1,334 passenger aircraft valued at US$519 billion. Of these, 47% will be needed in the Asia-Pacific region, followed by the Middle East (26%) and then Europe (16%). Asia-Pacific’s requirement for the A380 is demonstrated by the region’s growth in middle classes which is set to quadruple in Asia-Pacific in 20 years.
In the Twin Aisle market, covered by among others the A350 XWB and the A330, the requirement is for 6,779 aircraft valued at US$1.82 trillion. Of these, 48% of deliveries will be in Asia Pacific, followed by Europe (15%) and the Middle East (13%).
The Single Aisle market represents 71% of deliveries by unit numbers with a requirement for 20,242 aircraft valued at US$1.80 trillion. Asia-Pacific will require 34% of deliveries followed by North America and Europe requiring 23% each. The global success of low cost carriers (LCC) especially in Europe, and increasingly in Asia, the Middle East and Africa is helping to open new markets and give access to the benefits of flight to first time flyers from these regions. By 2032, LCCs will have increased their traffic market share from today’s 17% to 21%.