Airbus has presented a bullish outlook for air travel, forecasting more than 31,000 new aircraft deliveries will be needed over the next 20 years to meet demand.
And carriers in the Asia-Pacific were expected to take the bulk of the orders in the next two decades as low-cost carriers continue their rapid expansion, particularly in South-East Asia, China emerges as the world’s largest aviation market and India’s expanding middle class takes to the skies.
The outlook was presented in Airbus’s latest Global Market Forecast (GMF), which said Asia-Pacific carriers were expected to take delivery of 12,253 new aircraft in the period 2014-2033.
The number was higher than the 10,664 forecast of new aircraft deliveries in last year’s GMF.
The 2014-2033 report, released in Toulouse on Wednesday local time, said 53 per cent of new long-haul routes between 2014 and 2033 would either be within, to, or from the Asia-Pacific region.
“Asia is unquestionably a key element in future global economic and air transportation growth,” the report said.
Of Asia-Pacific’s 12,253 new deliveries the bulk would be single-aisle aircraft with airlines to take 8,066 frames.
Low-cost carriers such as the AirAsia and Lion Air groups and Qantas’s low-cost subsidiary Jetstar, among others, have between them hundreds of Airbus A320 family and Boeing 737 aircraft on order.
The twin-aisle segment was expected to account for 3,565 new deliveries in the period 2014-2033. Airbus said the number of aviation mega cities, defined as cities with more than 10,000 long-haul passengers a day, would more than double from 42 currently to 92 by 2033, fuelling demand for wide-bodied aircraft.
Only the very large segment category was unchanged from the prior year at 622 expected deliveries for Asia-Pacific carriers.
Overall, Airbus expected 31,358 new deliveries of passenger and freighter aircraft in 2014-2033, with Asia-Pacific accounting for a 39 per cent share, followed by Europe (20 per cent) and North America (18 per cent).
“Aviation is growing impressively and our latest forecast confirms its long-term growth,” Airbus chief operating officer for customers John Leahy said in a statement.
“While mature aviation regions such as Europe and North America will continue to grow, Asia will stand out along with emerging markets for dynamic development.
“This growth trend is confirmed by Chinese domestic traffic becoming the world’s number one aviation market within the next 10 years.”
The latest forecast is higher than the 29,226 total new passenger and freighter aircraft forecast in the 2013-2032 GMF.