LOS ANGELES The global aircraft fleet will double over the next 20 years, driven by demand from emerging economies in the Asia-Pacific region, according to the latest market forecast by Airbus SAS.
Air traffic will grow 4.7 percent annually, creating the need for more than 29,000 new passenger and freighter aircraft worth almost $4.4 trillion, including over 10,000 that will replace older, less efficient planes, according to the Toulouse, France-based aircraft builder. This will double the worldwide fleet to 36,560 planes by 2032.
"By 2032, the Asia-Pacific market will lead the world in traffic, overtaking Europe and North America," said John Leahy, Airbus chief operating officer of customers. While one-fifth of people in emerging markets currently take at least one flight per year, this will jump to two-thirds by 2032, he said.
Air traffic in the Asia-Pacific will grow at an average rate of 5.5 percent annually over the next 20 years. Domestic air traffic in India will rise at a rate of 10 percent, followed by China and Brazil at 7 percent each, Airbus said.
Single-aisle airliners will account for 71 percent of unit deliveries, or 20,242 planes worth $1.80 trillion, through 2032, said Airbus, with Asia-Pacific accounting for 34 percent of deliveries and Europe and North America each 23 percent. The two most prominent new single-aisle airliners are the Airbus A320 NEO and Boeing Co.s 737 MAX, with brand-new aircraft such as Bombardier Inc.s CSeries looking to pick up market share as well. All of these planes are expected to enter service within the next few years.