Airlines set to buy $4 trillion of planes


By David Black

Global airlines will need to buy 28,000 new aircraft worth US$4 trillion (Dh14.69tn) to meet the demand for air travel over the next 20 years, according to Airbus, the giant European planemaker.

In its latest Global Market Forecast, published yesterday, Airbus predicts the global passenger plane fleet will rise to more than 32,550 aircraft by 2031, from 15,500 today. The prediction is 1.3 per cent higher than Airbus anticipated last year.

In the same period, the world’s freighter fleet will almost double from 1,600 to 3,000 aircraft.

During this time 10,350 aircraft will be replaced by new, more efficient designs.

Airbus’ predictions compares with its competitor Boeing’s July forecast for 34,000 planes valued at $4.5tn over the next 20 years. However, Boeing included demand for an estimated 2,020 regional jets Airbus did not count.

The Asia-Pacific area will account for 35 per cent of all new aircraft deliveries, said the Airbus survey, followed by Europe and North America with 21 per cent each. In value terms, the single biggest market will be China followed by the United States, the UAE and India.

“Aside from growth in international traffic, by 2031 four of the world’s biggest traffic flows will all be domestic – in the US, China, western Europe and India,” said John Leahy, the Airbus chief sales officer. More info