Airbus has slightly revised upwards the projected number of aircraft deliveries for the next twenty years. Based on the continued recovery of air travel, the European airframer is expecting worldwide demand for commercial aircraft to grow to 39.490 aircraft by 2041, Airbus says in its latest Global Market Forecast (GMF) that is released this week. In November, Airbus projected 39.020 deliveries of passenger and freighter aircraft by 2040. Airbus expects 39.490 new deliveries by 2041.
The airframer has based its forecast on a Gross Domestic Product growth of 2.6 percent, an increase in passenger numbers of 3.6 percent, and freight of 3.2 percent per year. Short-term, lower GDP, high oil prices, and high inflation will have an impact on air travel. Longer-term, GDP is expected to grow higher than was predicted in 2021 while international trade will double by 2041. E-commerce or express cargo will outpace general cargo.
The result is that the worldwide fleet will grow to 46.930 aircraft, up from 22.880 just before the pandemic in 2020. Airbus notes that 80 percent of the worldwide fleet in 2021 was still older generation aircraft, which translates into a huge opportunity for fleet renewal with new technology, and more sustainable aircraft types. Of the 39.490 new deliveries until 2041, 60 percent or 24.050 will be for growth and 40 percent or 15.440 for replacement. Airbus expects that by 2041, 95 percent of all passenger aircraft will be new generation types.
Deliveries include full freighters. Airbus expects this segment to grow to 3.070 aircraft, up from 2.980 projected in November. Of these, 1.040 will be for growth and 1.400 for replacement, but this includes nearly 900 new and some 1.540 converted freighters. The largest segment is that of single-aisle freighters (990 aircraft), followed by mid-size aircraft (890), and large freighters (560).
In the previous Global Market Forecast, Airbus presented three passenger aircraft segments: small, medium, and large with 29.690, 5.340, and 3.990 aircraft respectively. The latest forecast includes just two segments: typically single-aisle and typically widebody. The reason for this simplification is that there is an overlap in the middle of the market of the small/medium classification it used until this year.
Looking at the single-aisle segment, Airbus projects a total demand for 31.620 aircraft. Asia Pacific is expected to be the biggest market with 7.470 aircraft, ahead of China (7.090), Europe (6.560), North America (5.720), South America (2.330), and the Middle East (1.470), and Africa (980).
The “typically widebody” segment includes 7.870 aircraft. Again, the Asia Pacific region is the biggest with 1.690 aircraft, ahead of Europe (1.580), the Middle East (1.530), China (1.330), North America (1.270), Africa (250), and Latin America (220).
Boeing will present its latest Commercial Market Outlook just before next week’s Farnborough Airshow.
Active as journalist since 1987, starting with regional newspaper Zwolse Courant. Grand Prix reporter in 1997 at Dutch monthly Formule 1, general reporter Lelystad/Flevoland at De Stentor/Dagblad Flevoland, from 2002 until June 2021 radio/tv reporter/presentor with Omroep Flevoland.
Since mid-2016 freelance aviation journalist, since June 2021 fully dedicated to aviation. Reporter/editor AirInsight since December 2018. Contributor to Airliner World, Piloot & Vliegtuig. Twitter: @rschuur_aero.