Airbus forecasts Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific fleet rise

The passenger aircraft fleet with over 100 seats serving Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific region is set to almost double in the next 20 years, according to Airbus’ latest market forecast.

The fleet is expected to increase by more than 600 aircraft, from some 750 to over 1,350 aircraft by 2036. Around 360 of the larger fleet will be single-aisle and 250 will be twin-aisles including 50 aircraft with 400 or more seats.

Wide-body aircraft like the A380, A330 and A350 currently deliver around 70% of traffic to and from the region, and Airbus suggested that these will continue to play a key role by 2036.

The growth will generate a corresponding need for over 12,000 new pilots and over 13,000 new maintenance engineers, which the company said provides Airbus’ global services business with a catalyst to grow.

70% of Pacific traffic growth originates in the region as domestic traffic or to and from Asia. With its large distances and island states with a reliance on air transportation, the Australia South Pacific inter -regional growth will match the world average of 4.4% per year, overtaking other advanced aviation markets such as the US, Japan and Europe, which will average 3.7% growth.

The region has some of the world’s highest propensity to travel, with New Zealand ahead on 5.6 and Australia on 4.9 trips per capita by 2036, compared to the US at 2.5, China 1.3 and India at 0.4 trips per capita.

The region’s economy is set to almost double its size to US$2.7 trillion by 2036, with the population expected to grow by 25% from 40 million to 50 million in 20 years time.

Airbus said that with the additional 11 million people who could be defined as middle class, representing 95% of the population by 2036, these drivers will continue to stimulate growth of air traffic in the region. For example, Australian outbound traffic has more than trebled since 1995, while in New Zealand combined inbound and outbound tourism has doubled every 10 years since 1995.

Airbus noted that a relaxation of border procedures notably with China and India has led to inbound tourism from China tripling in the last decade, with tourism from India growing at 12% per year.

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