Airbus announced that the world’s passenger and freighter aircraft fleet is set to more than double from today’s nearly 23,000 to almost 48,000 by 2038 with traffic growing at 4.3% annually. According to Airbus it also results in a need for 550,000 new pilots and 640,000 new technicians.
According to the forecast, by 2038, 47,680 fleets, 39,210 are new and 8,470 remain from today. By updating fleets with latest-generation fuel-efficient aircraft such as the A220, A320neo Family, the A330neo and the A350, Airbus believes it will largely contribute to the progressive decarbonization of the air transport industry and the objective of carbon-neutral growth from 2020 while connecting more people globally.
Reflecting today’s evolving aircraft technology, Airbus has simplified its segmentation to consider capacity, range and mission type.
According to Airbus’ latest Global Market Forecast 2019-2038, the new segmentation gives rise to a need for 39,210 new passenger and freighter aircraft 29,720 Small (S), 5,370 Medium (M) and 4,120 Large (L). Of these, 25,000 aircraft are for growth and 14,210 are to replace older models with newer ones offering superior efficiency.
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 amongst 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 (AMCs) 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 4% annual growth reflects the resilient nature of aviation, weathering short term economic shocks and geopolitical 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.”