LONDON – Audit, Consulting & Financial Advisory firm Deloitte has predicted that over the next 20 years, up to 38,000 aircraft will be produced.

This is based on the current backlog of aircraft ordered globally being at 14,000, with “manufacturers ramping up production to accommodate growing aircraft demand”.

The firm also predicted that aircraft deliveries for 2018 will end at more than 1,600 units for the year across all manufacturers.

Deloitte did add that the demand for “wide-body aircraft could further weaken in 2019 as there is already a robust wide-body backlog and airlines are deferring upgrades as they wait for more efficient next-generation wide-bodies”.

This is relating to the Airbus A321neo and Boeing 737MAX aircraft.

Deloitte is not wrong on this. Earlier this week saw Air Asia X in talks with Airbus about converting up to 34 of its 100 Airbus A330neos on order to A321 Long Range aircraft instead.

The report went on to say that “the capabilities of narrow-body aircraft have expanded, further impacting wide-body demand”.

The firm remained optimistic that the duopoly between Boeing and Airbus could be broken over the next 20 years with “new production programs emerging from outside the US and Europe, especially from Russia and China”, referring to the likes of COMAC and UAC.

Deloitte did concede that this would take a considerable amount of time as “there are several hurdles they would need to cross” such as securing more orders, certifications from the likes of EASA and the FAA as well as safe and reliable track records.

The report also highlighted certain areas of the world where aviation is currently thriving.

For example, China would require around 7,690 new commercial aircraft over the next two decades, valued at around $1.2 trillion.

India was another market, with it expecting to become the “third largest” aviation market globally, supplying around 478 million passengers annually by 2036 as well as demand for 2,000 new aircraft, mainly single-aisle aircraft.

Japan was also highlighted in this report, stating that growth is expected to be “sluggish” at around 3.2%, which is lower than the Asia-Pacific growth of 5.3% for passenger numbers.

However, the recent surge of low-cost carriers in the area could drive commercial aircraft demand and passenger number increases in the future.

Finally, the Middle East was labelled as another big grower with aircraft demand for 2,990 new aircraft valued at $660 billion.

Wide-body aircraft will be likely to comprise more than 40% of the total aircraft demand as the region accounts for high-volume, ultra-long-haul flights.

It remains clear that growth in the aviation industry is going to be at unparalleled levels over the next two decades.

The International Air Transport Association earlier this month stated that up to 8.2 billion passengers could be carried by 2037, offering quite a perspective of how big the industry will be in twenty years time.