Revised Forecast Raises Earlier Estimates By Almost 1,600
Despite mounting concerns of a
looming global recession, Airbus remains positively bullish on the
airline industry's long-term prospects. On Thursday, the European
planemaker released its updated 20-year Global Market Forecast,
indicating a demand for 24,300 new passenger and freighter aircraft
from now through 2026.
That's an increase of nearly 1,600 planes over the planemaker's
2007 forecast -- and represents a $2.8 trillion market to be
divided up between Airbus, Boeing, and other current and future
planemakers. That works out to average annual deliveries of some
1,215 aircraft, up from the previously forecast 1,130 average
deliveries in the last GMF.
Airbus states demand will drive the need for more fuel- and-
environmentally-efficient airliners to cope with traffic growth,
and the need to replace older, less efficient models. Passenger
traffic is expected to grow at an average rate of 4.9 percent per
year, leading to a near threefold increase in the forecast
Airbus believes those numbers will remain resilient to the
cyclical effects of the industry. Some of that increase will be
offset by larger planes, the planemaker concedes, but even so,
forecasts the world's airlines will more than double their
passenger aircraft fleets of 100 seats or more, from some 13,300
today to some 28,550 in 2026.
"Air transportation is definitely a growing industry
contributing to economic development and generating wealth around
the world," said Airbus Chief Operating Officer Customers John
Leahy. "We are committed to being a key player in making this
industry eco-efficient by providing the most technologically
advanced products and responding with a full 'life-cycle
Air freight is forecast to grow even faster, with freight tonne
kilometers (FTKs) increasing annually by 5.8 percent. Combined with
fleet renewal, this will create demand for some 3,800 freighter
deliveries. Nearly 900 of them, worth $200 billion, will be new
factory built, according to the planemaker.
Airbus says the greatest demand for passenger aircraft will be
from the Asia-Pacific region, which will account for 31 percent of
the total world demand for aircraft. It is followed by North
America (27 percent) and Europe (24 percent).
Emerging markets are also driving traffic demand. While China
and India will remain the largest, Airbus forecasts that some 30
additional emerging economies, including Argentina, Brazil, South
Africa and Vietnam, with a combined population of almost three
billion people, will grow increasingly prominent by 2026.
More than 16,600 aircraft, or 68 percent of all deliveries in
the next 20 years, will be single-aisle aircraft. Worth some $1.1
trillion, this represents 40 percent of all aircraft deliveries by