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Airbus predicts airlines will need to buy nearly 40,000 new planes in the next 20 years

Sept. 18, 2019
2 min read
Airbus predicts airlines will need to buy nearly 40,000 new planes in the next 20 years
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Airbus predicts the world's air carriers will need around 39,000 new planes by 2038.

The European manufacturer released that market guidance Wednesday, saying the aviation industry should see annual capacity growth around 4.3% over the next 20 years.

Those numbers in Airbus' projections include freight and passenger airplanes of all sizes. But Airbus believes the largest demand is likely to be for narrow-body airplanes, like its A220 and A320 families of planes. Boeing's 737 is its narrow-body that competes with the A320 family. Globally, Airbus projects nearly 30,000 of the 39,000 planes ordered during the next two decades will fall into that "small" category of narrow-bodies.

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14 June 2018, Hamburg, Germany: An aircraft will be mounted in the new A320 production line at the Airbus Finkenwerder plant. Photo: Daniel Reinhardt/dpa (Photo by Daniel Reinhardt/picture alliance via Getty Images)
An Airbus A321 being assembled at the Airbus plant in Finkenwerder, Germany, 2018 (Photo by Daniel Reinhardt/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Related: 10 Fun Facts About the Airbus A380

“The 4% 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,” Christian Scherer, Airbus' chief commercial officer, said in a statement. “Globally, commercial aviation stimulates GDP growth and supports 65 million livelihoods, demonstrating the immense benefits our business brings to all societies and global trade.”

Airbus estimates the increased demand for planes will also lead to 550,000 new pilot positions and 640,000 new technician jobs. The company also said in its press release that due to increased fuel efficiency, the newer planes are contributing to making overall industry growth carbon-neutral.

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Featured image by In celebration of the company’s 50th anniversary in 2019, Airbus conducted a special formation flight with representatives from each member of its in-production commercial aircraft product line – A220-300, A319neo, A330-900, A350-1000 and A380 – plus the next-generation BelugaXL airlifter. (Photo courtesy of Airbus)