The world’s airlines will buy new planes worth £2.5 trillion over the next 20 years, aerospace giant Airbus forecast today as it sounded a confident note for the civil aviation industry’s long-term future.
The European planemaker, number one in the global aerospace manufacturing market, raised its 20-year forecast by about 5% – with half that growth coming from developing countries.
A buoyant aerospace industry is key to the economic wellbeing of Bristol and the West of England. Airbus employs more than 4,000 people at its giant Filton plant where it designs wings, landing gear and fuel systems for all Airbus aircraft.
Thousands more people across the region work for firms in the aerospace supply chain, such as GKN – which makes the Airbus wing parts designed at Filton, along with parts for other planemakers.
Airbus, presenting its annual 20-year industry forecast in London today, said airlines were buying efficient new models to counter high fuel costs and meet relentless demand for travel to and from emerging markets.
Global population growth and continuing urbanisation will spur strong demand, equivalent to deliveries of 28,200 over the next two decades, Airbus said. Of these, 27,350 will be passenger jets and 850 freighters.
Airbus sales chief John Leahy told the Reuters news agency: “Emerging economic regions will represent more than half of all traffic growth in the next 20 years.
“Increasing urbanisation and the doubling of the world’s middle classes to 5bn people is also driving growth. By 2031 mega cities will more than double to 92 and over 90% of the world’s traffic will be between or through these points.”
Today’s forecast is more upbeat than last year’s when Airbus had predicted total worldwide demand for 26,921 passenger jets worth just over £2 trillion between 2011 and 2030.