Airbus Forecasts Demand for 31,000 New Aircraft Over Next 20 Years

Airbus has this week released its latest Global Market Forecast (GMF) for the Aviation industry – detailing a demand for over 31,000 new aircraft across passenger and freight by 2033, worth $4.6trillion. The latest forecast represents a 7% increase from the 2013 GMF – with 2,132 aircraft more forecast – and is driven by a projected aviation traffic growth of 4.7% between 2014-2033.

Key Highlights of Airbus GMF:

Traffic Growth

  • 4.7% traffic growth over the next 20 years.
  • Asia-Pacific market to lead world air traffic by 2033 – with 36% of global RPKs.
  • Today, Air passenger traffic (in terms of RPK) is 10x greater than 40 years ago. From 1998 to 2013, the industry grew by 96%.
  • 58% of the worlds tourist travel by air for their final destination.

Demand by Aircraft Type

  • 31,358 new aircraft by 2033 – 22,071 Single Aisle and 9.287 Widebody aircraft.
  • Of 31,000 new aircraft, 40% will be for replacement aircraft and 60% for new aircraft demand.
  • 44% of Single Aisle demand will be in Europe and North America – driven increasingly by replacement demand (57% of the 9,000 single aisle replacement  demand will come from North American and Europe markets).
  • Widebody aircraft demand worth around $2.5trillion over next 20 years. The 9,000 aircraft forecast represent only 30% of all new aircraft deliveries, but are worth 55% by total value.


  • Growth in the Asia-Pacific market will be driven by increasing demand from China – the domestic China market will be the largest for air traffic growth by 2033.
  • By 2033, China will be 60% larger in terms of passengers than the current US market, and will reach current European levels of around 0.96 trips per capita.
  • However, issues surrounding capacity and congestion may hamper growth– 80% of the Chinese population and economy are within only a 2,000km range; contributing to already restricted airspace and large aircraft movements at major cities.

Freighter Market

  • In 2013, Air Cargo transported 33% of total world trade, by value.
  • Global trade is set to grow at 4.3% per year over the next 20 years, and global freight traffic by 4.5%.
  • This down slightly from previous years estimates as extra passenger aircraft demand and capacity will free up freight space in new passenger aircraft ‘belly holds’.