DALLAS – Airbus SE has raised its 20-year forecast for new aircraft deliveries. By 2042, the European plane maker estimates that the global fleet will stand at 46,560 airliners, an increase from the 39,490 discussed in its previous forecast last year.
In total, it forecasts demand for 40,850 new aircraft deliveries. From these, 23,680 will be used for growth purposes, while 17,170 will replace older jets. Airbus said that around 80% will be made of single-aisle jets such as its A320neo and Boeing 737 MAX family. It also estimates that 8,220 will be wide-body aircraft.
Freighter demand, meanwhile, is expected to increase to 3,230 aircraft by 2042. This was up from the 3,070 forecasts last year.
Post-pandemic, airlines are looking to upgrade and expand their fleets with more modern and environmentally friendly aircraft to adhere to the commitments made by the industry regarding future sustainability.
Airbus said that only 25% of aircraft in service are currently the latest generation. This means that 75% of the global fleet will need to be replaced with more fuel-efficient models to continue with decarbonisation. However, the pandemic has led to supply chain issues which had a knock-on effect on new aircraft deliveries, meaning that manufacturers have been unable to keep up with demand. Therefore airlines have been forced to keep older airframes in service as the demand for air travel increased.
Airbus believes that the most significant growth will come from Asia. This includes China and India, the latter of which is currently the fastest-growing aviation market globally. Indeed, Indian flag carrier Air India (AI) recently announced an order for over 400 Airbus and Boeing airliners. In China, Airbus predicts that 9,440 aircraft will be flying in the country by 2042, 85% of which will be narrow bodies. The Middle East will remain the biggest user of wide-body aircraft.
Featured Image: China Airlines B-18918 Airbus A350-900 (Carbon Livery). Photo: Misael Ocasio Hernandez/Airways.