Airbus Looks to Asia for Fast Growth

Manufacturer anticipates an extra 26,000 planes will be needed by 2030.

Anticipating a boom in demand for air travel in emerging markets, Airbus has raised its growth forecast for the aircraft manufacturing industry for the coming 20 years. If its forecast proves accurate, in which it puts the number of aircraft orders (passenger and cargo) as high as almost 26,000 before the dawn of the year 2030 – orders that would be worth around €2.4 trillion – aircraft makers appear to be looking at a rosy future. The new forecast is almost 1,000 more planes than the European aircraft maker’s previous annual forecast had suggested.

The majority of these orders, Airbus says, will be the result of strong demand for travel in China and India in the coming years, particularly with the emergence of more low-cost carriers in the region. South America and the Middle East are other strong emerging regions. The aircraft type most in demand will be in the single-aisle category, such as the A320. Airbus forecasts a rise in global air passenger traffic of 4.8% every year for the next 20 years, up from the company’s previous projection of 4.7%.

“Demand for travel is doubling every 15 years,” Airbus’ sales executive John Leahy said. “But in places like India and China we expect it to double in the next six years.” BBC In related news, Airbus has announced that from 2016 it will manufacture new fuel-efficient engines for its A320s. These could yield fuel savings of 15% and cut both carbon emissions and engine noise. The aim is to give an incentive to airlines not to switch to Boeing’s 737.

The Economist

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