Airbus Forecasts Demand For 39,000 New Aircraft By 2040

Credit: Mark Wagner/Aviation Images

DUBAI—Some 39,000 new airliners will be needed worldwide over the next 20 years, Airbus says in its latest forecast.

By aircraft type, Airbus believes there will be demand by 2040 for around 29,700 small aircraft like the Airbus A220, A320 family or Boeing 737 MAX, and for about 5,300 medium-sized aircraft like the Airbus A321XLR, A330neo or Boeing 787-8. Around 4,000 large aircraft, like the Airbus A350 or Boeing 787-10 and 777X, will be needed.

In the same period, Airbus expects to see demand for 880 new freighters.

Altogether, 15,250 of the new-build aircraft will be for replacement, meaning that by 2040 the vast majority of commercial aircraft in operation will be latest generation, highly efficient types, up from some 13% today.

“Demand for air transport will continue to grow, driven by GDP, rising middle class and desire to explore and connect,” Airbus says in its forecast report, delivered Nov. 13 at the Dubai Airshow. “Continued improvements in fleet efficiency, sustainable fuels, operations and propulsion technologies will enable the sector’s 2050 net-zero objective.”

Airbus also forecasts a need for more than 550,000 new pilots and at least 710,000 technicians over the next 20 years

“While having lost nearly two years of growth over the COVID period, passenger traffic has demonstrated its resilience and is set to reconnect to an annual growth of 3.9% per year, driven by expanding economies and commerce around the globe including tourism. The middle classes, who are the likeliest to fly, will grow in number by 2 billion people to 63% of the world’s population. The fastest traffic growth will be in Asia with domestic China becoming the largest market, Airbus says.

Karen Walker

Karen Walker is Air Transport World Editor-in-Chief and Aviation Week Network Group Air Transport Editor-in-Chief. She joined ATW in 2011 and oversees the editorial content and direction of ATW, Routes and Aviation Week Group air transport content.


1 Comment
39,000!? Did Leahy come back to Airbus?