October 06, 2022, © Leeham News: Airbus presented their 20-year Global Services Forecast (GSF) for the world’s airliner business today. It’s a complement to the aircraft Global Market Forecast (GMF) that Airbus presented in July.
The services business for the over 100-seat air transport market grows from $105bn pre-COVID to $232bn by 2041, an increase of 221% or a 3,7% CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate), Figure 1.
Airbus Global Services Forecast (GSF) complements the aircraft market forecast, predicting growth from 23,000 airliners flying today to 47,000 flying daily by 2041, Figure 2.
By 2041 80% of the aircraft will be single-aisle with 20% widebody. The latest generation of airliners will represent 95% of the fleet after close to 40,000 new deliveries have replaced older aircraft, Figure 3.
The passenger traffic (in RPKs, Revenu Passenger Kilometers) grows by 3.6% CAGR in this period, and the yearly aircraft deliveries by 3.2% CAGR. The services related to this growing passenger and cargo market are outpacing them both, with a 3.7% CAGR.
The effects of the COVID pandemic are disappearing faster than predicted, and we will be back to a regular market for services end of 2023 or early 2024. The effect of the Pandemic will not be noticeable as the market grows from 2022 to 2041.
The largest services markets shift from Europe & CIS and North America to Asia-Pacific during this period, Figure 4.
The largest part of the services market is the maintenance of aircraft and their engines, Figure 5. In fact, the order should be reversed; engine maintenance is the dominant maintenance expense for the airlines.
A growing component of the Maintain market is the disassembly and recycling of older aircraft. Airbus is working to ease this process both in the design of the aircraft and the methods to do this cleanly and to reuse up to 90% of the materials in the used aircraft. It includes refurbished spare parts that go back to the market. Today’s reuse of scrapped airliners is around 70%.
The Train and Operate market is under heavy stress presently as many flight, cabin, and maintenance crew members left the industry during COVID, as did other ground support personnel.
The traffic has returned faster than predicted, with the summer of 2022 breaking the pre-pandemic level for weekly flights in Europe and CIS. Figure 6.
Over the 20 years, about 2m persons need to be trained for their roles in the air transport business, with almost 600,000 pilots needing training and certification as Air Transport Pilots, Figure 7. It creates a training market for 30,000 Air Transport Pilots (ATPL) per year.
In Train and Operate, the continuous improvement of the operation efficiency of airlines through smarter and more efficient flying shall gain us a further 5% reduction in CO2 emissions.
An important part of the Enhance business is the cabin refurbishments and upgrades during the 23 years of an aircraft’s life.
Examples of the types of services that will be demanded in 2041 are given in Figure 8. The 5,000+ maintenance inspections for the aircraft are only the heavy checks done about midlife for an airliner, also called D checks. The more frequent C checks, also hangar based, are not in these figures.
The 7,000+ engine checks are the workshop overhauls needed to restore the engines’ performance and replace life cycle limited parts (LLPs). The spare parts for these overhauls are the primary revenue stream in the maintenance business for the aircraft.