Airbus, Boeing project commercial aviation needs

Sept. 25, 2013 at 4:31 PM
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PARIS, Sept. 25 (UPI) -- New analysis of commercial aviation cites the need for more than 29,000 new aircraft in the next 20 years and more than 1 million pilots and technicians.

The projections came from Airbus of France and Boeing of the United States.

"As aviation becomes increasingly accessible in all parts of the world, future journeys will increasingly be made by air, particularly to and from emerging markets, according to Airbus' Global Market Forecast. "In the next 20 years [2013-32], air traffic will grow at 4.7 percent annually, requiring over 29,220 new passenger and freighter aircraft valued at nearly $4.4 trillion."

Boeing, in its 2013 Pilot and Technician Outlook, said Boeing "projects the commercial aviation industry will need more than 1 million new pilots and technicians to support the expanding demand for new airplane deliveries over the next two decades.

"Projected pilot demand is increasing worldwide, as is demand for technicians in some regions."

According to Airbus, economic growth, coupled with a growing middle class worldwide, affordability and ease of travel, urbanization, tourism, and migration are factors in the growth of commercial aviation. Mega cities are expected to double by 2032 -- 42 mega cities to 89 -- and 99 percent of the world's long-haul traffic will be between or through these.

"By 2032, Asia-Pacific will lead the world in traffic overtaking Europe and North America," said John Leahy, Airbus' chief operating officer. "Today, on average, a fifth of the population of the emerging markets take a flight annually and by 2032, this will swell to two thirds.

"The attraction of air travel means that passenger numbers will more than double from today's 2.9 billion, to 6.7 billion by 2032, clearly demonstrating aviation's essential role in economic growth."

Airbus also projects a rise is domestic air travel with India, China and Brazil leading.

In terms of aircraft needed, the Asia-Pacific region will account for 36 percent of all new passenger aircraft demand, followed by Europe (20 percent) and North America (19 percent).

Airbus said in the very large aircraft market, 1,334 passengers will be needed, with 47 percent of them needed in the Asia-Pacific region. The Middle East would need 26 percent and 16 percent.

Nearly 6,800 twin-aisle aircraft will be needed worldwide. The single aisle market represents 71 percent of new aircraft deliveries.

The increase in aircraft means people to fly them and maintain them. Boeing predicts 498,000 commercial airline pilots and 556,000 maintenance technicians will be required by 2032.

"The urgent demand for competent aviation personnel is a global issue that is here now and is very real," said Sherry Barbary, vice president of Boeing Flight Services. "The key to closing the pilot and technician gap in our industry is enhancing our training with the latest, cutting-edge technologies to attract and retain young people interested in careers in aviation."

The projected personnel need by region:

-- Asia Pacific: 192,300 pilots and 215,300 technicians.

-- Europe: 99,700 pilots and 108,200 technicians.

-- North America: 85,700 pilots and 97,900 technicians.

-- Latin America: 48,600 pilots and 47,600 technicians.

-- Middle East: 40,000 pilots and 53,100 technicians.

-- Africa: 16,500 pilots and 15,900 technicians.

-- Russia and CIS: 15,200 pilots and 18,000 technicians.

"This is a global issue that can only be addressed by industry-wide innovation and solutions," Barbary said.

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