Lukasz Kasperek | Dreamstime
A crowded airport. (Lukasz Kasperek | Dreamstime)

Airbus Forecasts Steady Growth in Commercial Aviation

July 17, 2022
A 20-year outlook sees passenger and freight activity growing at +3.0% CAGR – indicating more than double the number of jets will be in service than today, with 39,500 new aircraft being delivered through 2041.

Airbus has issued a 20-year forecast for the global commercial aerospace market (2022-2041), highlighted by the projection that air-traffic volumes will return to pre-pandemic (2019) levels between 2023 and 2025. That development would be followed by a growth in commercial aircraft passenger traffic at a 3.6% consolidated annual growth rate through 2041.

In numerical terms, Airbus projects that demand total of 39,500 new passenger aircraft will be delivered between 2022 and 2041. Of these, more than 2,400 will be new or converted cargo jets.

Air-freight volumes will take a similar growth rate during the same 20-year period of the Airbus study, achieving a 3.2% CAGR through 2041. Projected global trade volumes indicate that more than 3,000 cargo jets capable of carrying more than 10 metric tons will be required by 2041, though only about 2,000 are now in service.

The 20-year outlook anticipates about 80% of these new aircraft will be narrow-body jets and about 20% will be wide-body models.

Another factor driving new-aircraft demand is that about 20% of all the aircraft now operating around the world qualify as “next generation” fuel-efficient models – but by 2041 more than 95% of the aircraft in service will match that standard.

The expansion in commercial aerospace activity will mean more than twice as many aircraft in service by 2041 than are operating now, according to Airbus. Almost 47,000 passenger and cargo jets will be in service by then, it says, and only a very small percentage of aircraft currently in service now will be operating by that date.

An related development to the growth in commercial aerospace will be a need for new ground facilities – airports and cargo handling and distribution centers. Earlier this month the U.S. Dept. of Transportation granted almost $1 billion to various airport projects nationwide, funds that will be derived from last year's $1.2-trillion infrastructure program.

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