Aircraft manufacturer Airbus forecasts new aircraft sales of 39,000 units, both in passenger and freighter categories, until 2040 due to retirement of older vehicles and increasing demand for air transport.

“By 2040 the vast majority of commercial aircraft in operation will be of the latest generation, up from some 13% today, considerably improving the CO2 efficiency of the world’s commercial aircraft fleets,” Airbus said on Thursday.

It noted that the aviation sector contributes to the global gross domestic product (GDP) by 4% and employs 90 million people worldwide annually.

The sector lost around two years of growth due to the pandemic, it said and added: “Passenger traffic has demonstrated its resilience and is set to reconnect to an annual growth of 3.9% per year, driven by expanding economies and commerce around the globe including tourism.”

In the coming years, while Asia will be fastest growing market in terms of air traffic, Chinese domestic air market will be the largest market globally, Airbus noted.

Requirements for new personnel

The aircraft manufacturer stressed that some 20% of downdip will continue in the aviation market due to the pandemic till 2025.

It also said that the services market will rebound in the coming years and more than 550,000 new pilots and over 700,000 highly skilled technicians will be needed over the next 20 years.

“While maintenance will remain the leading services segment, flight, ground operations and sustainable services are also expected to grow significantly,” it added.

Touching on the decarbonization topic, Christian Scherer, chief commercial officer, said: “The world is expecting more sustainable flying and this will be made possible in the short-term by the introduction of most modern airplanes.”

Airbus’ product range supports at least a 20% CO2 efficiency gain over previous-generation aircraft, the press release added.

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