Airbus foresees demand for nearly 26,000 aircraft in the next 20 years

This demand is primarily driven by replacement of aircraft for newer more eco-efficient models in mature markets, dynamic growth in new emerging markets, low-cost carriers particularly in Asia, further market liberalization and capacity growth on existing routes

By Patrick Burnson · December 22, 2010

Almost 26,000 new passenger and freighter aircraft valued at $3.2 trillion will be needed between 2010 and 2029, to satisfy demand according to Airbus’ Global Market Forecast (GMF).

This demand is primarily driven by replacement of aircraft for newer more eco-efficient models in mature markets, dynamic growth in new emerging markets, low-cost carriers particularly in Asia, further market liberalization and capacity growth on existing routes.

The 2010 GMF forecasts 900 additional new passenger aircraft deliveries over the 2009 GMF reflecting a slightly higher growth rate of 4.8 percent compared to 4.7 percent in 2009. These aircraft will mainly be in the single aisle sector in which the A320 Family competes.

Out of the almost 26,000 additional passenger and freighter aircraft needed, around 25,000 will be passenger aircraft valued at over $2.9 trillion. Of these additional passenger aircraft, 10,000 will replace older less eco-efficient aircraft and some 15,000 will be for growth. Taking into account today’s passenger fleet of over 14,000 aircraft, the world passenger fleet will rise to some 29,000 aircraft by 2029. 

“The recovery is stronger than predicted and reinforces both the resilience of the sector to downturns and that people want and need to fly,” said John Leahy, chief operating officer. “The single aisle sector is particularly strong, and our A320neo meets this future demand by providing our customers with the latest innovations and technologies whilst maintaining maximum commonality. Our entire product range is very well positioned to meet the economic and environmental needs for sustainable growth for the decades ahead.”

This enthusiasm is not shared by all, however.

Brooks Bentz, a partner in Accenture’s supply chain management practice, told LM that fuel costs will have the greatest impact in air and those costs are likely to continue – albeit perhaps sporadically – upward.

“No one is fired up about adding gobs of new capacity in air cargo, which means that pricing is likely to continue rising,” he said.  “Buyers will likely continue trying to shift modes to lower cost (e.g., water or truck) to offset some of this where it’s possible.”


About the Author

Patrick Burnson
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]

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