Airbus increases 20-year forecast by 900 aircraft

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Airbus has increased its latest forecast for passenger and freighter aircraft to 2029 as it anticipates a "slightly higher" growth rate than in 2009.

The manufacturer's 2010 Global Market Forecast (GMF) forecasts 900 additional new passenger aircraft deliveries over the 2009 GMF reflecting a slightly higher growth rate of 4.8% compared to 4.7% in 2009.

Airbus says the majority of the 900 new aircraft will be in the single aisle market.

Over the next 20 years, almost 26,000 new passenger and freighter aircraft will be needed to satisfy demand with 25,000 being passenger aircraft.

Airbus says that between 2010 and 2029, 10,000 will replace older less eco-efficient aircraft and some 15,000 will be for growth. Taking into account today's passenger fleet of over 14,000 aircraft, the world passenger fleet will rise to some 29,000 aircraft by 2029.

"The recovery is stronger than predicted and reinforces both the resilience of the sector to downturns and that people want and need to fly," says Airbus COO-Customers John Leahy. "The single aisle sector is particularly strong, and our A320neo meets this future demand by providing our customers with the latest innovations and technologies whilst maintaining maximum commonality. Our entire product range is very well positioned to meet the economic and environmental needs for sustainable growth for the decades ahead."

In the single-aisle segment, almost 17,900 aircraft (69% of all aircraft), will be delivered in the next 20 years. Airbus says this is an increase over previous forecasts due to the accelerating demand for single aisle aircraft particularly in Asia Pacific, the emergence of low-cost carriers and increased route liberalisation.

In the twin-aisle aircraft segment some 6,240 new passenger and freighter aircraft will be delivered in the next 20 years (24% of all aircraft). Of these, 4,330 aircraft will be small twin-aisle (250 to 300-seat passenger aircraft) and about 1,910 intermediate twin aisles (350 to 400 seats). Demand for Very Large Aircraft (VLA) passenger and freighter aircraft, is more than 1,700 aircraf (or 7% of all aircraft).

Airbus says freight traffic is recovering at an even faster rate (5.9%) than passenger traffic growth. In 2010, freight traffic is expected to rebound closer to 18% before levelling off at more typical growth levels by the end of 2011. Combined with fleet renewal, this translates to a demand for around 2,980 freighters with 870 will be new aircraft while 2,110 will be converted from passenger aircraft according to the GMF.