Faster traffic growth, rising oil prices and better fleet management are pushing airlines to replace their old fleet with fuel efficient aircraft

With Asia, the Gulf region and other developing regions slated to be the fastest growing economies, it is no surprise that they are being seen as the geographies with the fastest traffic growth as well.

The Indian and Chinese domestic markets will see 9.8 per cent and 7.9 per cent annum traffic growth respectively, the latest Rolls Royce outlook states. In contrast, traffic within the mature markets of Europe and North America will only grow by 2.5 pr cent per year.

The forecast has also predicted that Asia Pacific will be the largest market for commercial aircraft where airlines will require nearly 4000 twin aisles, 44 per cent of the global deliveries. Much of this requirement will be for growth, but replacement of the existing fleet is also important. “The price of oil has increased 400 times since 2005 and has become significant issue for airlines to manage. Airlines have sought to reduce their fuel consumption in several ways including better demand management that has pushed up load factors. They are investing heavily in new fleets of more fuel efficient aircraft. The need to reduce fuel burn per seat is also pushing up the average size of the aircraft. This trend has been seen across regional aircraft, single aisle and twin aisle fleets,” according to Richard Evans, Head market analysis at Rolls Royce.

The market outlook has forecast deliveries of 149,000 engines over the next 20 years, to power 68,000 new airlines and business jets. This global market opportunity is worth around $975 billion for the engines themselves and another $700 billion for the provision of engine-related aftermarket services. The forecast covers the commercial air transport and business jet markets for many years. Referring to the business jet manufacturers who have traditionally delivered 70-80 per cent of their aircraft into the North American market, which has a long history of corporate jet use, it said although this remains the largest market in our forecast, requiring aircraft worth $330 billion, increasingly customers in Europe and Asia were buying business jets too. “We predict this sector will see 12,820 aircraft deliveries over 2012-2030, requiring engines worth $54 billion,” Mr. Evans states.

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