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Global air passenger numbers to double in 20 years

Airbus, the European plane manufacturer, predicts that air passenger numbers will more than double globally over the next 20 years from 2.9 billion to 6.7 billion in 2032. The France-based manufacturer attributes this growth to a bigger global middle class, urbanization, migration and tourism.

Airbus also predicts that 29,220 new aircraft will be needed over the next 20 years, in order to meet this increased traffic. About 10,400 planes of the total number will be necessary just to renew existing fleets. Overall, new orders for aircraft would amount to $4.4tn.

In its Global Market Forecast, released in September 2013, the company explains the main demand for new aircraft will come from rising air traffic, especially in emerging economies such as China, Brazil, and India. The company expects that the number of people in emerging economies, who take at least one flight a year, will increase from the current one fifth of the population to two thirds by 2032. Air travel in the Asia-Pacific region is expected to overtake that of Europe and North America by then.

“As aviation becomes increasingly accessible in all parts of the world, future journeys will increasingly be made by air particularly to and from emerging markets,” Airbus said in the report.

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