Airbus revises up forecasts for jet demand in next twenty years - GulfToday

Airbus revises up forecasts for jet demand in next twenty years

Airbus revises up forecasts for  jet demand in next twenty years

An Airbus A330-900 plane model is displayed at an expo in Beijing on Wednesday. Agence France-Presse

Airbus on Wednesday revised up forecasts for jetliner demand in the next twenty years led by growth in the new industrial hubs of Asia, while voicing alarm over rising protectionism.

The European planemaker, revising an annual 20-year forecast that sheds light on economic trends across the globe, predicted the world’s fleet would more than double to 47,680 jets by 2038.

That is slightly smaller than the future fleet Airbus had anticipated in a comparable forecast one year ago, as airlines squeeze extra productivity out of their aircraft by adding more and slimmer seats or using them for longer periods of the day.

But the demand for new jets needed to reach that total has been revised upwards because Airbus believes airlines will replace a greater proportion of aircraft than previously anticipated, mainly to take advantage of extra fuel savings.

Airbus said it now expects airlines and leasing companies to take delivery of 39,210 new passenger jets and freighters over the next two decades compared to 37,389 previously forecast.

Airbus expects 36% of these new deliveries to replace existing aircraft with the rest slated to meet growth in demand, with traffic expected roughly to double over the next 15 years.

A year ago, Airbus had predicted that just 29% of future deliveries would be replacing existing jets.

Airbus however trimmed its forecast for average traffic growth to 4.3% a year from 4.4% in its previous report.

Recent airline industry statistics suggest traffic is growing but at a slower rate this year amid trade tensions.

Growth continues to be dominated by Asia, where traffic is due to treble over the next 20 years. China’s domestic market is expected to leapfrog the United States and Western Europe to become the largest aviation hub, while India and new manufacturing markets like Vietnam are growing the fastest.

But the industry also faces a squall of new pressures from trade tensions, the partial unwinding of globalisation and an anti-flying campaign from climate activists, notably in Europe.

“Increased protectionism and other geopolitical risks remain a concern,” Airbus said in its Global Market Forecast.

Adding to that worry is a weak freight market this year.

Addressing an increasingly vocal debate on emissions, in a week that Swedish teenage climate change activist Greta Thunberg pressed the US Congress for action on climate change, Airbus said the industry could still achieve carbon-neutral growth while connecting more people due to more efficient planes.

Environmental groups backing a global “climate strike” say more radical steps are needed to meet such goals.

Airbus revised up its demand forecast for the industry’s most-sold single-aisle jets by 4% to 29,720 planes but cut the medium segment including its A330neo by 2% to 5,370.

It followed US rival Boeing in scrapping separate forecasts for the world’s largest four-engined aircraft such as the Airbus A380 or Boeing 747. Airbus decided in February halt production of the double-decker A380 due to weak demand.

It now includes these aircraft with the largest twin-engined jets, with the resulting combined category up 22% to 4,120 jets.

Airbus raised its 20-year forecast for after-sales services like maintenance, pilot training and cabin upgrades to $4.9 trillion from $4.6 trillion.

Once focused mainly on building and delivering their jets, Airbus, Boeing and other plane manufacturers are stepping up competition

Airbus has sold 15 of its new A321XLR jetliner to Vietnamese budget carrier VietJet, bringing to almost 300 the number of its longest-range narrowbody models earmarked for customers since June, industry sources said.

The deal was included in the most recent monthly Airbus order statement, but the name of the airline was withheld.

Airbus declined comment. No immediate comment was available from VietJet.

Asian demand has been propelling sales of the newest version of Airbus’s narrowbody franchise, launched with around 250 orders and commitments in June. In August, Malaysia’s AirAsia ordered 30 of the jets as it scaled down an order for the larger A330neo.

VietJet, which has been expanding rapidly in the fast-growing Vietnamese market, has a fleet of 66 Airbus jets. The airline has a domestic market share of 44%, the largest of any Vietnamese carrier, and has been adding more international flights to destinations around Asia.


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