Two jet builders have issued new forecasts for demand in the Latin American region, and while there is general agreement on the factors driving growth in that market there is some variance between their projections and those issued previously by a major rival. Brazil’s Embraer Commercial Aviation and Airbus SAS each offered a 20-year outlook for Latin American commercial aviation in connection with the biannual FIDAE Air and Space Trade Fair, ending this week in Santiago, Chile.
Earlier, Boeing Commercial Airplanes issued its own 20-year forecast.
The Airbus Global Market Forecast for Latin America sees demand for 2,540 new passenger and freighter aircraft between 2015 and 2034, including 1,990 single-aisle and 550 wide-body jets. This level of demand Airbus pegs at $330 billion.
The Boeing forecast predicts demand for 3,050 new airplanes by 2035, 2,500 single-aisle and 340 wide-body jets, projects that volume at $350 billion.
Whereas Boeing sees the total number of aircraft serving the Latin America region at triple the current number of jets in service, Airbus foresees a passenger and freighter fleet in the region at nearly 3,000 totaal, “more than double” the current number of aircraft in service.
Like Boeing, however, Airbus sees some particular factors driving growth in the Latin American market (increasing long-haul service, expanding route structure) driving demand for its products.
“Latin America’s long-haul route expansion is imminent, and we are already seeing airlines respond by opting for larger, longer-range and more efficient aircraft such as the A350 XWB and the A380, which both began operating in the region in 2016,” stated Rafael Alonso, president of Airbus for Latin American and the Caribbean. “We are also seeing the region’s top airlines modernizing their fleets with the A320neo family, allowing them to achieve efficiency gains even in a less-than-favorable economic environment.”
Other regional trends link the Airbus and Boeing forecasts to an outlook issued by Embraer. The single-aisle and regional jet builder is counting on Latin America’s fleet of smaller aircraft (70 to130 seats) more than doubling in the next two decades, from 310 jets today to 740 by 2034. While the region is now enduring slow economic growth Embraer tied to “political and economic instability,” it expects economic recovery to deliver “more equitable income distribution and deeper regional integration, which will boost demand for air travel.” In short, an expanding Latin American middle class will promote the growth of regional air travel for business and leisure, promoting greater demand for regional aircraft.
Also like Boeing and Airbus, Embraer is counting on new investment in civil-aviation infrastructure creating a wider supporting demand for more aircraft to serve a route system.
“Fleet optimization is key, as secondary markets are poised to lead the demand for new air travel,” according to Simon Newitt, Embraer vice president for Commercial Aviation, Latin America. “Carriers will continue to acquire new and efficient aircraft to serve low- and mid-density markets and to offer greater network connectivity.”