44.500 new aircraft, worth more than $2.9 trillion, will be delivered over the next 20 years.

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The Cirium Fleet Forecast reveals demand for around 44.500 new aircraft globally over the next two decades. It is estimated that their value will be 2,9 trillion USD. This will happen despite Russia's invasion of Ukraine, travel restrictions in China and rising energy costs.

The forecast published by Ascend by Cirium, a subsidiary of Cirium, is independent and covers the global passenger and cargo market.

The aviation industry's recovery from the Covid-19 crisis has progressed significantly, albeit unevenly across regions. Global aviation activity is expected to reach 2019 levels in October 2023.

Rob Morris, Global Director of Consulting, Ascend by Cirium, said: “ The new Cirium Fleet Forecast shows a positive long-term outlook for aviation. The industry is going through structural changes, but remains on traditional growth lines until 2025. 

“The global passenger fleet will need to grow by around 22.000 aircraft to serve passenger traffic, which we estimate will grow by 3,6% annually, meaning it will reach 47.700 aircraft by the end of 2041. 

"These new aircraft will be needed to meet the demand for air travel, but also to replace less efficient aircraft from older generations." 88% of the current passenger aircraft fleet will be withdrawn from operational service by 2041. Single-aisle jets are expected to account for 70% of passenger jet deliveries by 2041.

Asia will account for over 40% of new deliveries

Asia-Pacific remains the key growth region for new deliveries, driven by China. The country is projected to have the highest annual passenger traffic growth rate of over 6% and account for 19% of deliveries in 2041, ahead of all other Asia-Pacific countries. In total, Asia-Pacific airlines will receive approximately 40% of the new fleet.

North American and European airlines are expected to account for 21% and 17% of deliveries, respectively. Middle Eastern airlines will take 7% of deliveries, accounting for 14% in value terms, thanks to a mix of single-aisle and wide-body aircraft.

In the forecast, it is assumed that Russian capacity and traffic will decrease in the short term. Combined with the complete cessation of Ukrainian civil aviation activity, Russian/CIS traffic is expected to stabilize at 70% of 2019 levels.

Demand for single-aisle aircraft will grow

The single-aisle fleet will grow faster, with estimates showing annual growth of 3,7%. The regional aircraft fleet will grow more modestly at just 1,1% per year, with the turboprop fleet set to grow at a faster rate in the regional sector. The fleet of wide-body aircraft will grow by just over 3%.

Forecasted long-term traffic growth will require the global passenger fleet to grow by approximately 22.000 aircraft, which equates to an annual growth rate of 3,1%. In total, the entire fleet will reach 47.700 aircraft.

The passenger fleet in service is not expected to return to 2019 levels until mid-2023, missing out on up to four years of "normal" fleet growth.

Airbus and Boeing will remain the two largest manufacturers of commercial aircraft, delivering about 80% of the aircraft, with an estimated 88% by 2041.

The pressure to replace older and less efficient aircraft will increase

It is estimated that almost 88% of the current passenger fleet will be withdrawn from operational service in the next 20 years.

In total, there will be approximately 19.000 aircraft retired from the fleet by the end of 2041, plus another 2.500 aircraft leaving the passenger fleet through conversion to freighters.

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