Asia-Pacific airlines will lead global demand for larger and more eco-efficient aircraft types over the next 20 years, according to the latest market forecast for the region by Airbus. The forecast was presented on February 25th in Singapore by John Leahy, Chief Operating Officer, Customers, Airbus. Altogether, airlines from the region will take delivery of around 9,870 new passenger and cargo aircraft during the forecast period, valued at US$1.6 trillion. This represents 35% of all new aircraft deliveries worldwide over the next 20 years, ahead of Europe and North America. In terms of value, the region will account for 40% of the global market for new airliners, reflecting the higher proportion of widebody aircraft required by Asia-Pacific carriers.
In the passenger market, the fleet of aircraft operated by Asia-Pacific carriers is expected to more than double in the next 20 years, from 4,300 aircraft today to a total of 10,440 jets, based on higher than average annual traffic growth of 5.8% and replacement of nearly 3,500 aircraft in service today.
Reflecting the high levels of urbanisation in the Asia-Pacific region, traffic will continue to be concentrated around a growing number of major cities, with larger aircraft providing the most efficient means of meeting demand while overcoming airport constraints. As a result, Airbus predicts that carriers in the region will acquire some 3,840 widebody aircraft over the next 20 years, accounting for 44% of worldwide demand in the larger aircraft categories. The widebody deliveries to the region will include 3,080 twin-aisle aircraft, such as the A330 and all-new A350 XWB, and around 760 very large aircraft with over 400 seats, such as the A380, for the busiest routes. At the top end of the market, the region will lead global demand for airliners such as the A380, accounting for 45% of deliveries in this size category. While Asia-Pacific carriers will lead demand in the larger aircraft segments, the latest Airbus forecast also sees the number of single aisle aircraft in the region accelerating in the coming years.
This will be largely driven by the ongoing growth in the low cost sector, which has increased by seven per cent annually for the last ten years. This growth, plus replacement cycles, will generate demand for some 6,030 new single aisle aircraft in the region, such as the best-selling A320 Family.