Airbus Predicts Doubling Of Services Segment Through To 2042

airbus service techs
Credit: Airbus

A rise in global air traffic along with an increased number of connected aircraft in the fleet will lead to the services market more than doubling over the next 20 years, Airbus predicts.

In its latest global services forecast released on Nov. 29, the Toulouse-headquartered aircraft manufacturer projects the overall services market will have a value of $255 billion from this year through to 2042. More than 44,000 connected commercial aircraft are expected to be in operation by then, with 95% of these being new-generation aircraft types.

Maintenance will account for the largest portion of services over the 20-year period, with a value of $210 billion. For 2023, Airbus estimates the market to be worth $130 billion, which represents a 46% year-on-year growth thanks to continuation of the post-pandemic recovery.

Aircraft enhancement services, which include modifications work, will account for $28 billion, while training—worth $11 billion in 2023—will generate $17 billion by 2042.

China is anticipated to grow at the fastest rate and by 2042 will be the world’s largest services region with a value of $54 billion, followed by Europe ($48 billion), North America ($45 billion), and Asia-Pacific ($43 billion).

After China, the largest growth percentages over the 20-year period are expected by the South Asia and Middle East regions.

Airbus also predicts approximately 17,170 aircraft are expected to be replaced in the global fleet from 2023-42, a scenario it says gives an opportunity to reuse, repair, and recycle aircraft.

As part of these fleet changes, the OEM calculates a $17 billion passenger-to-freighter segment value, with the market for used serviceable materials for exchange measured at $45 billion over 20 years.

In order to maintain services growth, Airbus projects an industry need for 2.2 million people to be added to the global workforce. This number is comprised of around 680,000 new technicians in the market, along with 590,000 pilots and 920,000 cabin crew.

James Pozzi

As Aviation Week's MRO Editor EMEA, James Pozzi covers the latest industry news from the European region and beyond. He also writes in-depth features on the commercial aftermarket for Inside MRO.