AIRCRAFT maker Airbus says increasing passenger growth will create the need for 28,200 new planes in the next 20 years.
The company, which employs more than 6,000 staff at its wing-making plant at Broughton, near Chester, said its latest global market forecast has identified a need for passenger and freight aircraft between now and 2031 worth nearly $4 trillion.
It said 27,350 of the new aircraft will be passenger craft, valued at $3.7 trillion.
The manufacturer bases its forecast on estimates that average annual passenger traffic will grow at 4.7% over the next 20 years, leading to about 10,350 aircraft being replaced by new, efficient, models.
Airbus says that by 2031 the world’s passenger fleet will have expanded by 110% from just over 15,550 today to more than 32,550.
In the same time the world’s freighter fleet will almost double from 1,600 to 3,000 aircraft.
The latest forecast says emerging economic regions will represent more than half of all traffic growth in the next 20 years, while increasing urbanisation and the doubling of the world’s middle classes to five billion people are also driving growth.
By 2031, it says, mega-cities will more than double to 92 and more than 90% of the world’s traffic will be between, or through, these points.
John Leahy, Airbus chief operating officer customers, said: “Aside from growth in international traffic, by 2031 four of the world’s biggest traffic flows will all be domestic – US, China, Intra Western Europe, and India – and these account for a third of world traffic.
“In some 20 years from now, China’s domestic passenger traffic will overtake the US domestic traffic to become the number one traffic flow in our forecast.
“Aviation is not just essential for international commerce, but also for domestic economies, too.”
It is predicted that Asia Pacific will account for 35% of all new aircraft deliveries, followed by Europe and North America with 21% each. In value terms, the single biggest market is China, followed by the US, United Arab Emirates, and India.
And the forecast predicts that more than 1,700 very large aircraft, of 400 seats or more such as the Airbus A380, will have been delivered by 2031, valued at $600bn.