Fleet size will double
The in-service commercial fleet will grow an average 3.6 percent per year to double in size from 20,310 airplanes today to 41,240 by 2032. Over the next 20 years, the airline industry will need 35,280 new airplanes, of which 41 percent will replace older, less efficient airplanes. Nearly 59 percent of the new deliveries will reflect growth in emerging markets and evolving business models.
Single-aisle airplanes to predominate
Single-aisle airplanes continue to dominate the world's fleet. In 2012, the single-aisle category comprised 64 percent of the world's fleet. By 2032, we estimate that share will rise to 70 percent. Of the forecast demand for 24,670 new single-aisle airplanes, valued at $2.3 trillion, 35 percent will replace older airplanes, while 65 percent will expand the fleet. Emerging markets are driving demand for single-aisle airplanes. The Asia Pacific region is expected to need 8,810 new airplanes to expand its single-aisle fleet from 3,470 to 10,350 airplanes by 2032. Latin America, which is expected to take delivery of 2,420 new single-aisle airplanes, and the Middle East, which is expected to take delivery of 1,240 new airplanes, also generate strong demand. Low-cost carriers, whose business models focus on fleet commonality, also drive demand for single-aisle airplanes.
Expanding international markets increase demand
Traffic on long-haul routes is forecast to grow 5.1 percent annually over the next 20 years, creating demand for 8,590 new widebody airplanes. The largest widebody markets are Asia Pacific, Europe, North America, and the Middle East, which will take nearly 92 percent of all new deliveries.
Efficiencies of the fleet
Increased airline costs, specifically increased fuel costs, are driving airlines to operate the most efficient airplanes available. Consequently, we foresee a modest increase in the average size of airplanes in operation. Airlines are replacing small regional jets with larger regional jets. This trend continues in the single-aisle category. Airlines that have ordered 737-700s are ordering 737-800s, and airlines that ordered 737-800s are ordering 737-900ERs. In the widebody fleet, small- and medium-size airplanes are in greatest demand, representing 91 percent of the projected widebody market. The multiple sizes in the widebody airplane families, which include the 787, 777, and 747 families, allow airlines to optimize their networks by choosing the right size airplane for each market they serve.