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Brisbane, Perth and Auckland forecast to become aviation mega-cities by 2033

written by | April 27, 2015

Airbus global market forecast graphic. (Airbus)

Airbus expects Australia to have four so-called aviation mega-cities by 2033 as the growth in global passenger traffic results in new routes from local and overseas carriers.

The Toulouse-based manufacturer defines an aviation mega-city as those which have more than 10,000 long-haul passengers a day. Currently, Sydney and Melbourne are the only two inclusions on Airbus’s list of 42 mega-cities.


By 2033, there were expected to be 91 mega-cities around the world, with Brisbane and Perth (and also Auckland) forecast to join the list with more than 10,000 passengers a day hopping on a flights of more than 2,000nm.

The number of long-haul passengers travelling to, from or via mega-cities was forecast to rise from 800,000 a year currently to 2.2 million by 2033.

Airbus’s global market forecast predicts that the passenger aircraft fleet serving the Australia/South Pacific region will grow from 720 aircraft currently to 1,219 by 2033.

The bulk of that growth will come at the larger end of the market, with the number of twin-aisle aircraft forecast to more than double from 270 currently to 548, while the so-called very large aircraft segment was predicted to rise from 19 today to 94 by 2033.


“You’ve got 63 per cent of RPKs that are performed by wide-bodied aircraft,” Airbus director for strategic marketing and analysis Andrew Gordon told reporters during a media briefing in Sydney on Monday.

“You’ve got the long distances, you’ve got the big, dense passenger flows really driving the need for bigger aircraft to and from the region.”

Airbus expected the number of single aisle aircraft flying to and from or within Australia/South Pacific to grow from 431 to 577 between now and 2033.

The figure is not the number of aircraft in the fleets of Australian and South Pacific carriers, merely the number of passenger aircraft serving both the Australia/South Pacific domestic and international market.

The global market forecast noted that about 83 per cent of all revenue passenger kilometres (RPK) in 2033 would be flown on routes that exist today, with the remainder to come from new city-pairs that will open up over the next two decades.

“These existing routes are very much where the centres of growth are going to be,” Gordon said.

“People live in London, people live in New York, people live in Sydney, that’s where they want to fly to and from and between.”

Airbus said international traffic serving the Australia/South Pacific region was forecast to grow annually at 4.5 per cent over the 20 years to 2033.

The 2014-2033 Airbus global market forecast was launched in September 2014 and forecasts 31,358 new aircraft deliveries over the next 20 years.

Projected new routes from Adelaide according to the Airbus global market forecast. (Airbus)
Projected new routes from Adelaide according to the Airbus global market forecast. (Airbus)
Projected new routes from Brisbane according to the Airbus global market forecast. (Airbus)
Projected new routes from Brisbane. (Airbus)
Projected new routes from Perth according to the Airbus global market forecast. (Airbus)
Projected new routes from Perth. (Airbus)
Projected new routes from Sydney according to the Airbus global market forecast. (Airbus)
Projected new routes from Sydney. (Airbus)

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  • Taurean Lea


    Brisbane should become a big megacity with thousands of skyscrapers, high rises and lots of aircraft predicted to be based at Archerfield, Redcliffe and Eagle Farm Airports!!!

  • Peter R


    And the Zen master says “We’ll see”.

  • Shane


    It seems a but strange that the maps show a prediction of Adelaide, Perth and Brisbane having direct flights to Hanoi in Vietnam. Sydney is seems, is not predicted to have future flights to Hanoi. This is despite Vietnam Airlines stating that they would like to start direct services soon.
    Also, the prediction of direct services from Sydney to Islamabad seems wishful
    This just seems like any random dots on a map to me.

  • James


    Do you have the map for AKL? Cheers



      Hi James,
      unfortunately the presentation did not include a map for AKL. however, we will follow up with Airbus to ask if one can be made available.

  • Andrew


    I predict it will be 32deg C tomorrow in Hobart, with a chance of late evening thunderstorms. Wrong time of year I know, but I still predict it.

  • Adrian


    Look at how many routes from Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide fly over Broome.
    Non stop Broome to eastern Europe, if we built a hub there we would retain more aviation revenue and provide an alternative to mining in the area. See the proposed Gold Coast and Wuhan route The Gold Coast Airport has twigged it, regarding potential long haul alternatives to the capital cities for rural travellers.

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