Airbus: Global services sector to double by 2042

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By Gordon Smith

December 4, 2023, © Leeham News: If the last decade taught us anything, it’s just how challenging it is to make accurate forecasts. While this is true of almost all industries, few are as difficult to predict as aerospace. It can feel like a feat to quantify the immense number of variables involved, never mind establishing what they actually mean.

So credit where it is due to Airbus, which has published its latest Global Services Forecast (GSF) for the coming two decades.

The headlines are eye-catching. The European firm believes the value of the commercial aircraft services market will double by 2042 to $255bn. Driven by soaring traffic demand and technological developments, the sector will require millions more staff than it has today and thousands of new aircraft.

  • The services market is supporting more than 24,000 aircraft globally this year, valued at approximately $130bn – up 46% on 2022 as the post-pandemic recovery reaches a crescendo
  • This figure is due to reach $180bn by 2030 and $255bn by 2042, representing a compounded annual growth rate of 3.6%
  • Aircraft maintenance will comprise 80% of the market by 2042, valued at $210bn, with ‘aircraft enhancement’ estimated at $28bn, and training and operations generating $17bn
  • Connected aircraft is a key trend, with Airbus forecasting that more than 44,000 airplanes will form part of a ‘connectivity ecosystem’ by 2042, with significant passenger benefits and operational efficiencies

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