Inflight editor Alexander Preston summarises the latest happenings across IFEC and cabin technology.

At this week’s Airbus Global Market Forecast in a sunny London, the Toulouse-based manufacturer presented an uplifting picture of aircraft fleet growth.

It is predicting a need for nearly 48,000 aircraft (passenger and freight) by 2038, with more than 39,000 being new aircraft.

Of course, it is hoping to capitalise on this demand with its latest generation models, A220, A320neo family, A330neo and the A350.

Airbus sees Asia-Pacific airlines accounting for 42% of new aircraft deliveries, the majority of which will come from the emergence of more low-cost carriers, who are favouring the 175-210-seat category.

Such growth also necessitates a need for more commercial aviation personnel, and despite its woes with the 737 MAX, Boeing is preparing itself to meet the training demand.

The US giant is forecasting that of the 44,000 new airplanes needed over the next 20 years, more than 17,000, or 39%, of those airplanes will be delivered to the Asia-Pacific region.

The forecast projects that the Asia-Pacific region will need 244,000 new commercial pilots, or 38% of the pilots needed around the globe. China is expected to need 124,000 pilots, more than half of those needed in the region as a whole. Southeast Asia and South Asia follow, with 20% and 17% of the demand respectively.

The Asia-Pacific region is also expected to lead global demand for maintenance technicians (249,000, or 39% of global demand) and cabin crew (323,000, or 37% of global demand), with China leading demand for both (124,000 maintenance technicians and 150,000 cabin crew).

Christian Scherer, Airbus chief commercial officer and head of Airbus International, believes such annual growth reflects the resilient nature of aviation, weathering short-term economic shocks and geo-political disturbances.

“Economies thrive on air transportation. People and goods want to connect,” he said. “Globally, commercial aviation stimulates GDP growth and supports 65 million livelihoods, demonstrating the immense benefits our business brings to all societies and global trade.”

The editor’s comment is published weekly as an accompaniment to the Inflight e-newsletter. If you do not currently receive our email updates, you can subscribe here.

Leave a Reply