Aircraft fleet set to double by 2038

The world’s passenger and freighter aircraft fleet is set to more than double from today’s number of nearly 23 000, to almost 48 000 by 2038, with traffic growing at 4.3% annually. This, in turn, will signal the need for 550 000 new pilots and 640 000 new technicians.

By 2038, of the forecast 47 680 fleet, 39 210 will be new and 8 470 will remain from today, according to Christian Scherer, Airbus chief commercial officer and head of Airbus International.

Updating fleets with latest-generation, fuel-efficient aircraft will contribute largely to the progressive decarbonisation of the air transport industry and the objective of carbon neutral growth from 2020, he says. 

Resilient to economic shocks, air traffic has more than doubled since 2000.

“The 4% annual growth reflects the resilient nature of aviation, weathering short-term economic shocks and geo-political disturbances,” Scherer says.

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