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Sat, Feb 06, 2010

Asia-Pacific Airlines Could Acquire 8,000 New Aircraft Over Next 20 Years

Region Driving Demand For Larger Aircraft Types

Anyone looking for growth in the airline industry needs to look to the Asia/Pacific region, as airlines there could acquire as many as 8,000 new passenger and cargo aircraft over the next 20 years. That assessment was offered Friday at the Singapore Airshow by John Leahy, Airbus Chief Operating Officer, Customers. Valued at $1.2 trillion, the estimate represents one third of predicted global deliveries between now and 2028, with the region driving demand for larger aircraft types.

In the passenger market Airbus predicts that traffic in the region will grow at an average annual rate of 5.9 per cent, while cargo traffic will increase by 6.3 per cent per year. This compares with a global average of 4.7 per cent for passenger traffic and 5.2 per cent for air freight. As a result of this growth and continuous fleet replacement, the region is expected to take delivery of some 880 very large aircraft, 2,570 twin aisle widebodies and 4,560 single aisle aircraft.

The high proportion of larger aircraft types reflects the concentration of populations around main urban centers in the region, generating high density traffic on key intra-regional routes, as well as to capacity constrained international destinations in Europe and North America. Meanwhile, demand for single aisle aircraft in the region is expected to accelerate in the coming years, driven by the growth of low cost carriers and opening of new routes between secondary destinations, especially in China, India and South East Asia.

In the cargo sector, the region will continue to dominate the global air freight market, with the dedicated freighter fleet operated by Asia-Pacific airlines growing five times to 1,500 aircraft. While many of these will be converted from passenger models, Airbus predicts that around 340 new production freighters will be delivered to the region over the 20 year period. These will be predominantly widebody aircraft and will represent 40 per cent of expected global demand for new production freighters.

Presenting the details, John Leahy said that within 20 years the region would overtake the US and Europe as the world's largest air transport market, with Asia-Pacific airlines carrying over 30 per cent of global passenger traffic and around 40 per cent of all air freight.

"To meet this demand larger aircraft will be needed to ease congestion and do more with less," he said. "This will see airlines from the region account for over 40 per cent of twin aisle deliveries and more than 50 per cent of the demand for very large aircraft, such as the A380.

The Asia-Pacific region is a core market for Airbus accounting for a quarter of all orders recorded by the company to date. Today there are some 1,430 Airbus aircraft in service with 66 operators across the region, with another 1,120 on order with customers for future delivery. This represents 32 per cent of the company's total backlog, reflecting the importance of the region as the fastest growing market for new civil aircraft.

FMI: www.airbus.com

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