Airbus Sees Demand For 39,000 New Aircraft By 2038

Today, Airbus released a statement on their website, following a recent press conference, with predictions that the aviation industry will be in need of 39,000 new aircraft by 2038, many of which it will help to supply.

Airbus Sees Demand For 39,000 New Aircraft By 2038
Airbus sharing its forecast at the press conference. Photo: Airbus

What are the figures?

Airbus made its forecast at a press conference entitled ‘Cities, Airports & Aircraft’ where it spoke of how air passenger and freighter fleets were set to increase more than 100% by 2038, from 23,000 aircraft today to 47,680 in the next 19 years.

Earlier this year, Boeing made a regional prediction for the Middle East, stating it would need another 2,990 aircraft in the next 20 years as it increases in global demand, with aviation in the Middle East grow at 4.6% annually.

Airbus has predicted similar air traffic growth, with a 4.3% growth year on year globally, according to its release.

To manage the demand, it forecast that, as well as the new aircraft, 550,000 new pilots and 640,000 new technicians would also be required.

But in order to make it up to a global fleet of nearly 48,000, Airbus suggested 39,210 aircraft will be needed as new. However, nearly 18% of the total needed for 2038 already exist today. They say that this is because the technology some aircraft use is suitable to adapt alongside the aviation industry.

Airbus went further to state that of the 39,210 new aircraft:

“25,000 aircraft are for growth and 14,210 are to replace older models with newer ones offering superior efficiency.”

A continued focus on the environment

We’ve seen a lot of airlines focus on their carbon footprints recently, including airlines banning single-use plastics and governments wanting to spend aviation tax money on reducing CO2 emissions.

Airbus Sees Demand For 39,000 New Aircraft By 2038
Airbus’ CCO speaking at the conference. Photo: Airbus

Speaking at the ‘Cities, Airports & Aircraft’ press conference, Chief Commercial Officer for Airbus Christian Scherer stated how the company expected the drive for a more environmentally-friendly industry. He cited “carbon-neutral growth” starting from next year, to prompt aircraft providers to make more fuel-efficient engines.

Airbus’ own contribution to the environment comes in the form of its new aircraft.

It said:

“By updating fleets with latest generation fuel efficient aircraft such as the A220, A320neo Family, the A330neo and the A350, Airbus believes it will largely contribute to the progressive decarbonisation of the air transport industry and the objective of carbon neutral growth from 2020 while connecting more people globally.”

And airlines are biting the Airbus bait.

With Airbus aircraft being (self-professed) “market leaders in their segments”, this year was a big one for Airbus orders. We expected nothing less. But these orders do mean that Airbus is way ahead in the eco-revolution.

Airbus Sees Demand For 39,000 New Aircraft By 2038
Airbus celebrating 50 years of innovation at the Paris Air Show. Photo: Airbus

Earlier this year, Simple Flying reported on Air France’s massive A220 order which totaled 60 aircraft as well as a further 60 in a mixture of options and acquisition rights. AirAsia also made a large order of 30 A321XLR this year; one of the newest aircraft in the skies which was unveiled at the Paris Air Show by Airbus. As well as this, Lufthansa also managed to make an order of 20 A350s to use within its own fleet as well as among its subsidiaries; Brussels Airlines and SWISS.

How well do you think Airbus will manage the demand for new aircraft? Is the aviation industry doing enough for the environment? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!