Home' Asian Aviation : AAV October 2017 Contents 36 AsianAviation | October 2017
WITH ASIA PACIFIC FORECAST TO BECOME the world's biggest
travel market, growing at 5.7 percent per year, Boeing Commercial
Airplanes says the region's passenger tra ic will constitute nearly
40 percent of such global travel by 2036. The region's expected 3.9
percent annual economic development over the coming 20 years
means the area's share of world GDP "is projected to rise from 33
percent today to 40 percent" in the period.
Growth will be mixed, reflecting the area's "mature, developing,
and emerging markets, Asian GDP and passenger tra ic will drive
an estimated need for 16,050 new airplanes valued at US$2.5 trillion",
suggests the manufacturer.
Competitor Airbus reports forecasts of 4.1 percent average real
GDP growth during 2017-36. It acknowledges the region's "diverse
and dynamic" nature, and finds future evolution impossible to char-
acterise simply: "From Southeast Asia with its important global hubs
and the influence of deregulation through Association of Southeast
Asian Nations (ASEAN), to Northeast Asia with its mix of more ma-
ture markets and growing LCC presence, [and] all heavily influenced
by the burgeoning Chinese aviation markets."
The European company also recognises the region's airline-tra ic
performance: "Half of the top 10 countries contributing the most
tra ic growth in 2016 were from Asia-Pacific"
. Airbus forecasts 20-
year requirements for 14,276 new jetliners in the region.
Brazilian manufacturer Embraer projects Asia-Pacific and the
Middle East together as the fastest growing markets by 2036, with
annual tra ic (revenue passenger-kilometres or RPKs) growth rates
of "around 6 percent" It sees Asia-Pacific as the largest market,
accounting for 37 percent of world airline tra ic, ahead of Europe
and North America with a combined 36 percent.
Embraer expects Asia-Pacific's strong intra-regional tra ic to
continue, "underpinned by increasing a ordability and broadening
air networks, but mainly by a massive capacity inflow and the need
to stimulate tra ic and populate ever-expanding fleets"
. To satisfy
demand in the 70-130-seat sector that it supplies, the manufacturer
perceives a need for 1,710 machines over 20 years.
However, the company sounds a warning: "While it is clear Asian
airlines will experience strong RPK growth of 5.7 percent annually
by 2036, doubts remain if the industry can generate healthy and
sustainable financial performance due to over-capacity and intense
In the 20 years to 2036, about 40 percent of all new airplanes
will be delivered to airlines based in Asia, with a similar proportion
going to operators in Europe and North America combined, and
the balance to carriers in Africa, CIS, Latin America, and the Middle
East, according to Boeing.
"Over the past decade, [Asian] jet fleets have nearly doubled,
from 3,600 [aircraft] to 7,000," says the company's Current Market
Outlook (CMO). "The number of Asian airlines with jet fleets has
grown from 200 to 250, [their order backlogs] have increased from
1,940 to 4,400 [and their combined capacity] has grown on average
by almost 10 percent annually."
Noting an emerging overlap between single and twin-aisle jetliner
operations, Airbus says in its equivalent Global Market Forecast
(GMF) that, globally, use of twin-aisles on short-haul routes ---
less than 2,000nm --- has increased by 26 percent in six years. "In
Asia-Pacific, 22 percent of all [such] operations are performed by
widebody (twin-aisle) types."
With numbers of flights increasing as well, the trend has confirmed
the European manufacturer 's established mantra --- generally op-
posed verbally (but not statistically) by Boeing --- that, on average,
aircraft are getting bigger, with the typical size o ered by Asia-Pa-
cific operators having grown significantly. "In just 10 years, average
aircraft capacity operated by these airlines has grown from 133 to
165 seats, almost 25 percent," says Airbus.
Widebody airplanes provide the range and economics needed
to open previously unreachable, or unprofitable, destinations, says
Boeing. "In China, international growth continues to accelerate at
above 20 percent per year."
It claims that small widebodies, such as the 787, have been "key"
to opening routes from smaller, secondary markets, with larger ma-
chines opening services to North America from larger hubs. Such
market dynamics will generate Asia-Pacific requirements for 3,620
new twin-aisle aircraft by 2036, according to the CMO.
The Japanese Aircraft Development Corporation (JADC), a con-
China and India will continue to dominate Asia-Pacific markets for new
jetliners, while low-cost carriers (LCCs) are stretching their legs, according to
the major manufacturers' forecasts. European correspondent Ian Goold has
been crunching the numbers.
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