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Asia to lead demand for freighter, passenger planes in next 20 years

ASIA is expected to take delivery of 40 per cent of freighter and passenger aircraft built between now and 2038, according to the Cirium Fleet Forecast

Asia to lead demand for freighter, passenger planes in next 20 years

ASIA is expected to take delivery of 40 per cent of freighter and passenger aircraft built between now and 2038, according to the Cirium Fleet Forecast

18 August 2019 - 19:00

ASIA is expected to take delivery of 40 per cent of freighter and passenger aircraft built between now and 2038, according to the Cirium Fleet Forecast.

The report estimates that 48,860 new freighter and passenger will be delivered over the next two decades at a cost of US$3.1 trillion. Over this period, cargo traffic is anticipated to grow four per cent and passenger traffic by 4.5 per cent per annum, said a company release.



'By 2038, the combined Asia-Pacific and China fleet will increase its global share from 30 per cent to 42 per cent, followed by the North and Latin Americas (28 per cent), Europe and Russia (21 per cent), Middle East (six per cent) and Africa (three per cent),' said Cirium vice president Rahul Oberai.



While 2019 marks the 10th straight year of global airline net profits, reaching $225 billion for the cycle, annual passenger traffic growth is slowing.



'A growth slowdown isn't surprising. The WTO's World Trade Outlook Indicator is the weakest since 2010, and poor cargo traffic results in the first half of 2019 bear out a weakening market, exacerbated by the US-China trade dispute. With fuel comprising a quarter of airline costs, oil price volatility is also a concern,' Mr Oberai said.



The aviation industry has a firm-order backlog of 14,000 aircraft, equivalent to seven years of production at current rates.



'Looking long-term, the global commercial aircraft fleet will grow by almost 25,000 - or 3.4 per cent annually - to meet traffic growth forecasts. This will take the operational aircraft fleet to 54,500 by the end of 2038, of which 46,800 will be passenger jets,' Cirium's global head of consultancy Rob Morris said.



Airbus and Boeing are expected to remain the largest commercial aircraft manufacturers, collectively delivering an estimated 79 per cent of aircraft and 87 per cent by value through 2038.



The single-aisle and twin-aisle fleets will expand the fastest, at four per cent annually, with regional aircraft growing by one per cent and freighters by two per cent. In the passenger market, single-aisle jets will account for 67 per cent of deliveries and 52 per cent of delivery value, with the core of this $1.6 trillion market continuing to be the 150-seat size, typified by the Airbus A320neo and Boeing 737 Max 8.



The Cirium Fleet Forecast also predicts three-quarters of aircraft currently in service will be retired during the next 20 years, including 19,900 passenger aircraft and 2,070 freighters. An additional 2,180 passenger aircraft will be converted for freighter service.


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