FARNBOROUGH—Airbus has forecast that global commercial aviation aftermarket spending will hit $3 trillion over the next 20 years, with the Asia-Pacific region expected to represent the largest market share for maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO), along with pilot and technician demand.
In its first-ever Global Services Forecast (GSF), unveiled July 12 at the Farnborough International Airshow, Toulouse-headquartered Airbus said the cumulative value of MRO activity will be in excess of $1.8 trillion by 2035. The aircraft manufacturer also predicted annual industry MRO spending will grow 4.6% year-on-year, from $53 billion to $132 billion per year.
The reasoning behind this, according to the GSF, is due to the near-doubling of the global commercial aircraft fleet, from 19,500 aircraft with more than 100 seats in 2015 to 40,000 by 2035.
Much of this growth will come from the Asia-Pacific region, due to the high volumes of aircraft expected to be brought into the fleets of the region’s airlines in the next 20 years to meet demand for air travel.
For MRO spending, Europe and North America combined are expected to account for one-third of total market outlay.
This also means more pilots and technicians will be needed in order to meet growth. Airbus estimates there are currently around 200,000 active pilots, a figure expected more than double to 450,000 in 20 years. However, Airbus believes this may not be enough, and forecasts as many as 560,000 pilots may need to be trained during that period to meet demand, as well as to offset the retirement of flight crewmembers.
Demand for technicians is also forecast to grow, and Airbus predicts approximately 540,000 new staff will be needed to service airframes, engines and components.
Airbus is scheduled to further extend its training-center network for aircraft technicians, with a new location scheduled to open in Mexico later this summer. New centers are due to open in the next 18 months in New Delhi, along with facilities in Sao Paulo and in Vietnam, where the OEM will partner with Azul and VietJet, respectively.
Speaking at the air show here, Laurent Martinez, Airbus’ senior vice president services, said the company will look to further extend its service offering, in order to grow customer flexibility and aid the training of pilots and technicians.