LONDON — Airbus has released today its annual 20-year General Market Forecast (GMF), and the numbers seem to confirm the growth of the air travel market despite the economic uncertainties in emerging markets, and the ongoing trade war between the United States and China.

The Airbus 2019-2038 GMF says airlines are expected to order 39,210 new jetliners in the next two decades.

The figure is around 1,900 additional aircraft, up 4.87% from the 37,389 expected new deliveries that the aircraft gave in the 2018-2037 outlook.

Airbus forecasts that the average annual growth, estimated in 4.3% will allow the growth of the nearly 23,000 aircraft in service today to almost 48,000 by 2038 —a staggering increase of 208%.

The reasons behind the passenger traffic growth are attributable to improvements in household incomes, favorable population and demographic profiles, and market liberalization and deregulation of the industry.

According to the most recent data from the International Air Travel Association (IATA), the Asia-Pacific region will drive the biggest growth with more than half the total number of new passengers over the next 20 years coming from these markets.

The numbers suggest that passengers could double to 8.2 billion in 2037. Airbus projects that 42% of the new aircraft deliveries will be allocated in the Asia-Pacific region.

“The 4.3% annual growth reflects the resilient nature of aviation, weathering short term economic shocks and geo-political disturbances. Economies thrive on air transportation. People and goods want to connect,” said Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer and Head of Airbus International.

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


Airbus has taken a different approach to breaking down the various market segments in the 2019-2038 GMF.

The manufacturer has merged the large and extra large categories, as the Airbus A380 superjumbo will cease production by 2021.

Based on these changes, the manufacturer has streamlined its portfolio around three categories: Small (A220-A320 family aircraft), Medium (A321LR/XLR and A330), and Large (A350 XWB).

For the small aircraft segment, Airbus expects 29,720 new aircraft deliveries over the next 20 years, representing about 76% of all projected deliveries. The percentage remains unchanged when compared to the 2018 report.

The medium segment will comprise 14 per cent of new deliveries, or 5,370 aircraft, while the large segment stands at 4,120 aircraft, equivalent to 10% approximately.

According to Airbus, 64% of the new aircraft entering in the market in the coming two decades are intended for growth, while the rest (36%) is set for the replacement of the current fleet.

The manufacturer also predicts that the demand will result in a need for 550,000 new Pilots and 640,000 new Technicians.

In-all, it remains clear that through the advancements in the market that Airbus has introduced, the industry has reacted positively to this and will no doubt see several more orders over the next two decades.