Latin America and Caribbean fleet in-service to more than double by 2036
As far as a long-term outlook for Latin America’s air transport sector is concerned, optimism was a key sentiment felt by many at this year’s ALTA Airline Leaders Forum in Buenos Aires. During this year’s forum Rafael Alonso, President of Airbus Latin America and Caribbean, presented the latest Airbus Global Market Forecast (GMF), highlighting a healthy demand for 2,677 new passenger and freighter aircraft (valued at US$352 billion) for the region between 2017-2036. This demand implies that the region’s in-service fleet will more than double from the 1,211 aircraft in-service today to 2,882 in the next two decades.
“We are optimistic about the long-term outlook for Latin America’s air transport sector now that we are starting seeing clear signs of economic recovery across the region, signaled by the region’s GDP, which is predicted to grow above the world’s average at three percent,” said Rafael Alonso. “Also, with long-haul traffic escalating we think Latin American carriers can capture market share that is currently being lost to foreign carriers on routes to Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and North America.”
The GMF forecasts passenger traffic to, from and within Latin America and the Caribbean to grow 4.4 percent annually until 2036. The region’s domestic and intra-regional traffic will grow even quicker at 4.8 percent per year, while the highest traffic growth is expected to be on routes to the Middle East (6.1 percent) and to Asia Pacific (5.8 percent). A key factor fueling this growth is the region’s middle class which is expected to increase to half a billion people by 2036.
Also, by 2036 the number of aviation mega-cities globally will increase from 58 to 95, and the current regional mega cities of Bogota, Buenos Aires, Lima, Mexico City, Santiago and Sao Paulo will be joined by Cancun, Panama City, and Rio de Janeiro. These nine megacities will account for 150,000 long-haul passengers daily.
Furthermore, a more than doubling in the commercial fleet over the next 20 years yields a need for 49,130 new pilots and 53,800 new maintenance engineers, providing a growth opportunity for Airbus’ regional customer services outposts. In the last three years alone, Airbus has expanded its global network of training locations from five to 16, with two being in Latin America—the Airbus Mexico City Training Center opened in 2015, and the Airbus Brazil Training Center, opened in 2016.
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Communication Manager - Airbus Latin America & Caribbean