44,500 new aircraft worth US$2.7 trillion to be delivered over next two decades according to Cirium Fleet Forecast

posted on 24th January 2023 by Eddie Saunders
44,500 new aircraft worth US$2.7 trillion to be delivered over next two decades according to Cirium Fleet Forecast

The new Cirium Fleet Forecast reveals demand for approximately 44,500 new aircraft globally over the next two decades, worth US$2.9 trillion.

The forecast published by Ascend by Cirium, the consultancy arm of aviation analytics firm Cirium, is an independent forecast of the global passenger and freighter market for the next 20 years.

It reaffirms an encouraging long-term projection for the aviation industry and its recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic, predicting that 20-year aircraft deliveries will be just 1% lower globally than predicted a year ago.

This comes despite Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, travel restrictions in China, and rising energy costs all emerging as influential factors during 2022.

The aviation industry’s recovery from the Covid-19 crisis in early 2020, has progressed significantly if unevenly across regions. Global aviation activity is predicted to reach 2019 levels in October.

Rob Morris, Ascend by Cirium’s Global Head of Consultancy, said: “The new Cirium Fleet Forecast shows a positive long-term outlook for aviation.

“The industry is undergoing structural changes, but remains on course to return to traditional growth paths by 2025.

“The global passenger fleet will be required to increase by around 22,000 aircraft to service passenger traffic, which we predict to grow 3.6% annually to reach 47,700 aircraft by the end of 2041.

“These new aircraft will be required to meet demand for air travel, but also to replace less efficient, older-generation types.”

The freighter boom continues, but may not persist

Freight capacity (available tonne kilometres or ATKs) is forecast to grow annually at 3.0% and traffic (FTKs) at 3.7%, relative to 2019.

The forecast predicts the supply of some 3,560 freighter aircraft over the next 20 years, including 1,060 new builds (30%) worth US$130 billion, and 2,480 conversions of passenger aircraft (70%).

This is a similar volume and profile to that predicted in the previous forecast, reflecting the continued near-term boom in conversions triggered by the air-cargo market dynamics of the Covid-19 pandemic, including a short-term drop in passenger belly capacity, e-commerce growth and rising feedstock availability. 

Although the current conversion boom may not persist, it is enabling the replacement of older, less efficient aircraft.