Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 19 October 2019

Airbus forecasts number of planes to double in next 20 years

European plane maker says air traffic is expected to grow by 4.3 per cent per annum

The world’s passenger and freighter aircraft is set to more than double in the next 20 years to about 48,000, according to Airbus. Courtesy Airbus 
The world’s passenger and freighter aircraft is set to more than double in the next 20 years to about 48,000, according to Airbus. Courtesy Airbus 

The number of passenger and freighter aircraft is set to more than double in the next 20 years to about 48,000 due to increased demand, Airbus said on Thursday.

Air traffic is expected to grow at 4.3 per cent annually, resulting in a need for 550,000 new pilots and 640,000 new technicians, despite an economic slowdown.

“The 4 per cent 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 in a statement.

“Globally, commercial aviation stimulates GDP growth and supports 65 million livelihoods, demonstrating the immense benefits our business brings to all societies and global trade.”

Of the forecast 47,680 fleet, 39,210 are expected to be new planes with 8,470 remaining from today's fleet, it said in statement.

Airbus said despite economic shocks, air traffic has more than doubled since 2000 and is playing a key role in connecting large population centres, particularly in emerging markets where people's inclination to travel is among the world’s highest.

“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 will continue to power the global aviation network,” Airbus said.

“Developments in superior fuel efficiency are further driving demand to replace existing less fuel-efficient aircraft.”

Airbus is updating fleets with new, fuel-efficient aircraft such as the A220, A320neo Family, the A330neo and the A350. The company has said it is attempting to achieve 'carbon neutral growth' from 2020, while connecting more people globally.

Earlier this year, Saudi Arabian Airlines signed an agreement with Airbus to expand its A320 Neo-family fleet to as many as 100 jets, including the new longest-range narrowbody aircraft, as demand for air travel in the biggest Arab economy grows. The kingdom's budget operator, flyadeal, has also ordered 30 A320neo aircraft, with an option to buy 20 more, after ditching an order with Boeing for the troubled 737 Max narrowbody jet.

Updated: September 19, 2019 04:41 PM

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