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Dreamliner kicks off a decade of change in the civil aviation industry

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: 04 January, 2010  (Technical Article)
Ascend looks ahead to the new decade and predicts high levels of growth for civil airlines in Asia with particular emphasis on Chinese aviation
Emerging markets are expecting huge leaps in fleet growth, according to aerospace specialists, Ascend as they look ahead at the aviation sector over the coming decade.

Ascend forecasts that jet fleets in Asia Pacific, led by China, are set to escalate by 78.4%, increasing its fleet share to 27% and matching Europe’s fleet size in ten years time. European growth is 47%, driven by developing economies in Russia and central Europe.

In stark contrast, the North American fleet will grow by a mere 4.7%, although it will still have the largest fleet in ten years time (a 30% share) and accounts for 26% of deliveries, second only to Asia/Pacific with 32%.

High fleet growth will also be seen in the Middle East (71%) and the Latin America and Caribbean fleet will increase by almost 60%. Africa’s fleet will grow by just over 20%.

In particular, the regional jet fleets in emerging markets show exponential growth over the next 10 years, with a hike of 176.5% in Asia Pacific; 125.3% in the Middle East and 100% in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Ascend’s Director of Consultancy Eddy Pieniazek says, “Over the past decade airlines have collectively registered both record annual losses and record annual profits.

“We have seen the tragedies of September 11th and highlights have included the world’s largest commercial airliner, the A380, entering service.

“The way we travel has changed more so than in any post-war decade. Air travel has never been so cumbersome, thanks to increased security measures. But low cost carriers have brought so many new passengers to the market place that infrastructure is being stretched to its limits.

“Where we visit has changed. The same number of seats are available to destinations in North America today as in 2000, but capacity within Asia Pacific; from Asia to the Middle East; and from Europe to the Middle East, has doubled.

“The regional markets saw a new wave of jets enter the market, these 70-100 seaters have begun to demonstrate new opportunities in the smaller capacity markets. At the other end of the scale, the A380 has illustrated the benefits of reducing congestion.

“The technological cycle over the coming decade looks very promising.

”We will begin the new decade with the dawn of a new technological age and the introduction of the all-composite fuselage Boeing 787.

“Hot on its heels will be a plethora of new products and designs, all featuring increased use of composite materials. Much of this activity is at the regional and small narrowbody end of the scale, where Bombardier, Mitsubishi, Sukhoi, Irkut and COMAC are destined to compete with new products across the 70-200 seat spectrum.

“The driver behind much of this is a new engine product, the P&W PurePower (Geared Turbofan) which promises a step change and which is destined to power three of these new products. At the bigger end of the scale the Airbus A350 promises to do what the 787 might do, only bigger.

“Emissions trading is going to impact dramatically on operating costs in the coming decade, as environmental issues continue to gain importance.

“Economically, we begin the decade with record annual airline losses. A long slow recovery is anticipated in both airline traffic and profitability.

“As shown above, the forecasts for aircraft say one thing – Asia, with China and then India are leading the way. Over the next decade Brazil and Russia are also expected to grow significant fleets.”
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