Airbus Industrie predicts demand for almost 16,000 jet airliners in the next 20 years. Subtracting the 2,300 on order, and 2,000 used aircraft, the open market for new sales is around 11,500 airliners.
The Airbus consortium – in which British Aerospace has a 20% stake as the supplier of all Airbus airliner wings – said 88% of the present world airliner fleet or around 8,000 planes will have to be replaced by 2017.
The Asia-Pacific region is forecast as the big market, growing annually by 5.2% with airlines there averaging traffic increases in excess of 6%. Air travel inside China is expected to multiply at least six times during the period, Airbus said. Chinese traffic growth will be higher in the next 10 years than in the second 10.
The average size of aircraft will grow from today’s 179 seats to 235, although Airbus expects the average single-aisle airliner’s capacity to increase only marginally, from 135 to 139 seats.