In 1986 the band Timbuk3 wrote the song, “The Future’s So Bright I Gotta Wear Shades” to symbolize a different era. The late 80’s was a time of economic growth and optimism. Things may not seem so rosy these days but one industry is still predicting a bright future and that’s commercial aviation. Why? well check out these stats.
The world’s passenger aircraft fleet above 100 seats is set to more than double in the next 20 years to over 40,000 planes as traffic is set to grow at 4.4 percent per year, according to Airbus’ latest Global Market Forecast 2017-2036.
Increasing numbers of first time flyers, rising disposable income spent on air travel, expanding tourism, new routes and evolving airline business models are driving a need for 34,170 passenger and 730 freighter aircraft worth a combined total of US$5.3 trillion. Over 70 percent of new units are single aisle with 60 percent for growth and 40 percent for replacement of less fuel efficient aircraft.
A doubling in the commercial fleet over the next 20 years also creates the need for 530,000 new pilots and 550,000 new maintenance engineers.
Air traffic growth is highest in emerging markets such as China, India, the rest of Asia and Latin America and almost double the 3.2 percent per year growth forecast in mature markets such as North America and Western Europe. Emerging markets currently home to 6.4 billion of the world’s 7.4 billion population will account for nearly 50 percent of the world’s private consumption by 2036.
Over the next 20 years Asia Pacific is set to take 41 percent of new deliveries, followed by Europe with 20 percent and North America at 16 percent. Middle class numbers will almost double to nearly five billion as wealth creation makes aviation more accessible in emerging economies where spending on air travel services is set to double.
In the twin aisle segment Airbus forecasts a requirement for some 10,100 aircraft valued at US$2.9 trillion.
In the single aisle segment the world should need 24,810 aircraft valued at US$2.4 trillion. No wonder the commercial aviation industry is expecting bright skies ahead.