Worldwide commercial aircraft fleet to double over next two decades, with demand for 27,800 new aircraft

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TOULOUSE, France, 20 Sept. 2011. Commercial air operators throughout the world will buy about 27,800 new aircraft worth about $3.5 trillion over the next two decades, which will more than double the global passenger airliner fleet from 15,000 today to 31,500, predict market analysts at European aircraft manufacturer Airbus in Toulouse, France. Airbus analysts make their predictions in their latest Global Market Forecast (GMF).

These new commercial aircraft purchases from now until 2030 will consist of 26,900 passenger jets with more than 100 seats, as well as more than 900 new factory built freighter aircraft, Airbus analysts predict in their latest commercial aircraft forecast.

Of these totals, commercial air operators will buy 10,500 aircraft to replace relatively old jets that are less fuel-efficient than the most modern airplanes, analysts say. Moreover, airlines and air freight companies will buy larger aircraft then they have previously to keep pace with future growth in air passenger and freight demand, Airbus says.

Revenue passenger kilometers over the next 20 years will grow by about 4.8 percent each year, which will more than double air traffic by 2030, analysts say.

Airbus forecasts that Revenue Passenger kilometers (RPKs) will grow by an average 4.8 per cent per year, which is equivalent to traffic more than doubling in the next 20 years. Driving growth in air traffic will be population growth with increasing wealth, dynamic growth in emerging economies, strong continued growth in North America and European markets, greater urbanization, and a more than doubling in the number of mega cities by 2030, Airbus analysts say.

Expansion of low-cost carriers and environmental needs to replace old, inefficient aircraft will be among the primary drivers of air traffic growth over the next two decades.

By 2030 Asia-Pacific will account for about 34 percent of air traffic demand, followed by Europe at 22 percent, and North America at 22 percent, Airbus analysts say. Asia-Pacific also will be the biggest market with 33 percent, Europe at 23 percent, and North America at 20 percent.

The fastest air traffic growth over the next 20 years will be 9.8 percent in India and 7.2 percent in China. Domestic U.S. growth will be 11.1 percent and Intra Western Europe at 7.5 percent, with the first and third largest shares of the total air traffic in 2030, Airbus analysts say.

During the period demand for very large aircraft seating more than 400 passengers will be 1,738 worth about $600 billion. Demand for twin-aisle passenger and freight aircraft of 250-to-400-seat size, meanwhile, will be 6,900 worth about $1.5 trillion. Over the next two decades demand for single-aisle aircraft seating 100 to 250 passengers will be nearly 19,200 worth $1.5 trillion, Airbus analysts say.

For more information contact Airbus online at

Related stories

-- Boeing officials forecast commercial passenger airplane demand in China;

-- World regional passenger aircraft sales to increase by nearly 5 percent each year through 2029, Embraer predicts; and

-- India commercial aviation market valued at 1,320 new airplanes over next 20 years, By Boeing.

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