Around 25,000 passenger and freighter aircraft worth $3.1tn (£1.9tn) will be delivered between 2009 to 2028, according to Airbus’ Global Market Forecast.
The study, which takes into account global air-transport developments and fleet analysis of passenger airlines over 20 years, predicts that a decline in Revenue Passenger Kilometres (RPKs) of two per cent will be followed by a rise of 4.6 per cent in 2010.
Airbus expects this increase to continue by 4.7 per cent per year, or double in the next 15 years and remain resilient to the cyclical effects within the sector. The study predicts that this will produce a demand for almost 24,100 new aircraft in addition to the replacement of 10,000 older passenger aircraft.
John Leahy, Airbus’ chief operating officer, said: ‘Air transportation is a growth industry and an essential ingredient in the world economy. Technology and innovation are key drivers for an eco-efficient aviation sector, and Airbus is at the forefront of both.’
The world’s passenger aircraft fleet of 100 seats or more currently stands at 14,000. The group believes that the doubling of this figure over the next 20 years will be driven by emerging economies, evolving airline networks, the expansion of low-cost carriers and the increasing number of mega-cities around the world.
The forecast also suggests that airfreight tonne kilometres (FTKs) will increase by 5.2 per cent each year. When combined with fleet renewal, this increase is expected to create demand for around 3,440 freighters.
Airbus predicts demand for Very Large Aircraft (VLA), seating more than 400 passengers, to reach $571bn (£346bn), representing 19 per cent of the value of passenger- and freighter-aircraft deliveries. Over the last 10 years, aircraft have increased in size by three per cent and Airbus expects that by 2028, the average aircraft will be 26 per cent bigger than its current size.
An increase in larger aircraft is expected to provide benefits in terms of minimising training and maintenance costs. In addition, Airbus expects that bigger aircraft will contribute to a reduction in global CO2 emissions in the aviation industry.
In the twin-aisle aircraft market (seating from 250 to 400 passengers), around 6,250 new passenger and freighter aircraft will be delivered in the next 20 years, at around $1,300bn (£788bn). Of these, 4,240 aircraft will be small twin-aisle (250 to 300 seater) and about 2,010 intermediate twin aisles (350 to 400 seater).
Single-aisle sales is expected to be marginally lower, at $1,200bn (£727bn) for around 17,000 aircraft. According to Airbus, this is an increase over previous forecasts due to the emergence of low-cost carriers and increased routes, which are expected to boost demand for single-aisle aircraft in Asia.
As a result, Oxford Economics expects that in 20 years, the air-transport industry will directly employ 8.5m people globally and contribute $1tn (£0.6tn)each year to the world GDP. The biggest demand for passenger aircraft is expected to be seen from airlines in Asia-Pacific and emerging markets, with India and China predicted to have the fastest-growing passenger markets over the next 20 years.