Airlines will spend around $5.2 trillion on 33,000 new planes over the next 20 years

Billy Bambrough
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David Cameron, who is for now still Prime Minister, was among the high-flyers at Farnborough International Air Show today (Source: Getty)

The world's airlines will spend over five trillion dollars on new aircraft over the next twenty years.

Airbus has added 500 planes to its previous forecast, taking total demand over the next two decades to 33,070, with a price tag of a cool $5.2 trillion (£4 trillion).

By 2035, the world’s aircraft fleet will have doubled from today’s 19,500 aircraft to almost 40,000. Airbus released the revised numbers on the opening day of the Farnborough Airshow, just outside of London.

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The figures come alongside a raft of big deals announced by some of the world's biggest engineering firms.

The French headquartered aircraft builder now expects passenger traffic to grow by an average 4.5 per cent a year over the period, fuelled by rising wealth in emerging markets such as China and India.

China’s domestic air traffic is forecast to become the world’s largest within 10 years.

Airbus said in a statement:

Urbanisation and increased wealth in emerging economies particularly in Asia is powering air traffic growth.

With a combined population of over six billion people, these economies will grow at 5.6 per cent per year and the propensity to travel will triple to 75 per cent of its population.

In economies like Western Europe or North America, air traffic growth will be 3.7 per cent.

The emergence of so-called aviation mega cities will propel air traffic, according to Airbus. By 2035, 62 per cent of world population will be city dwellers and the number of aviation mega cities will rise from 55 to 93.

The statement continued:

These centres of wealth creation – 47 of which are already schedule constrained airports – will account for 35 per cent of world GDP. In 20 years the number of daily long haul passengers travelling to, from, or via aviation mega cities, will more than double to 2.5m.

These mega cities are located predominantly in the developed world but are expected to grow quickly throughout emerging markets.

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“While established European and North American markets continue to grow, Asia-Pacific is the engine powering growth in the next 20 years. China will soon be the world’s biggest aviation market and together with emerging economies, further population concentration, and wealth creation, together these will help to fuel strong air traffic growth,” said John Leahy, Airbus chief operating officer.

“We are ramping up production to meet market demand for our leading aircraft products and we will also ramp up our customer service offerings to meet the increasing demands of air transportation.”

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