Africa needs 970 aircraft over next 20 years

Aircraft manufacturing company, Airbus, says Africa needs about 970 new passenger aircraft between now and 2032 to be able to catchup with growth in the aviation sector on the continent.

The estimated cost is about US$126billion, according to the latest Airbus Global Market Forecast.

The aircraft needed includes 729 single aisle aircraft, such as the A320 Family, 213 twin aisles such as the A350 XWB and A330 Families, and 28 very large aircraft such as the A380, the report said.

Economic growth, growing middle classes, affordability, ease of travel, urbanisation, tourism, and migration are some of the key factors which contribute to attracting increasing connectivity between people and regions and how often they travel.

Airbus forecasts that Africa will achieve average annual passenger growth rates of 5.7 per cent within the 20 year-period.

This figure is well above the world average of 4.7 per cent and far outstrips more developed markets such as North America and Western Europe.

“International and domestic passenger traffic growth for South Africa is projected to grow at a rate of 5.4 per cent over the next 20 years,” said Mr Andrew Gordon, Director of Strategic Marketing and Analysis at Airbus.

“South Africa is helping drive the development of aviation on the African continent with a requirement of over 300 passenger aircraft to serve the South African market by 2032. Johannesburg will reinforce its position as one of the world’s aviation mega-cities, a focal point for traffic coming into the region and then connecting these passengers to the rest of Africa.”

With these positive developments in the region, the Airbus Global Market Forecast predicts that the African aircraft fleet (100 seats) is set to more than double from around 600 aircraft to almost 1,550 by 2032.

Airbus continues to be the preferred choice for new airlines in the region, with 13 airlines selecting Airbus aircraft for their operations since 2011.


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