European airframer Airbus believes a 4.3% growth in traffic annually will lead to an increase in passenger and freighter aircraft of more than 50%, from nearly 23,000 today to almost 48,000 in 2038. Airbus also believes there will be a need for 550,000 new pilots and 640,000 new technicians in the next 20 years.
How Airbus Categorises Airplanes
Considering current evolutions in aircraft technology, Airbus has ‘simplified’ its segmentation to consider mission type, range, and capacity.
As an example, the classic A321ceo is classed as a Small plane, while the A321LR and XLR are considered Medium. The manufacturer states that although the core market for the A330 is classified as Medium, it is likely that some airlines will operate the aircraft in a way that sits within the Large category. The A350XWB, as well as the A380, represents the large category, alongside some A330neos. The A320 family (not including long-range versions) and the A220 family represent the Small segment.
Airbus believes a total of 39,210 new passenger and freighter aircraft will be needed by 2038. These consist of 29,720 Small, 5,370 Medium, and 4,120 Large aircraft, according to Airbus’ latest Global Market Forecast for 2019-2038. The European manufacturer believes that 25,000 of these aircraft will be for growth purposes, while 14,210 are to replace older, less-efficient models. Airbus also explained that they believe that Aviation Mega Cities will continue to power the global aviation network. Air traffic is also key, they say, in connecting large population centers in emerging markets, where alternative modes of transport are impossible due to geography or cost.
What Airbus Thinks
Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer and Head of Airbus International, said this:
“The 4% annual growth reflects the resilient nature of aviation, weathering short term economic shocks and geopolitical disturbances. Economies thrive on air transportation. People and goods want to connect. Globally, commercial aviation stimulates GDP growth and supports 65 million livelihoods, demonstrating the immense benefits our business brings to all societies and global trade.”
Featured Image Source: Airbus