In its first ever Global Services Forecast (GSF), unveiled at the Farnborough International Airshow on Tuesday (July 12), Toulouse-headquartered Airbus said that the cumulative value of MRO activity will be in excess of 1.8 trillion by 2035, with the aircraft manufacturer also predicting that annual industry MRO spend will grow 4.6% year-on-year from $53 billion to $132 billion per year.
The reasoning behind this, according to the GSF Forecast, is due to the near-doubling of the global commercial aircraft fleet from 19,500 aircraft over 100 seats in 2015 to 40,000 by 2035.
Much of this growth will come from Asia-Pacific, 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 spend, Europe and North America combined are expected to account for one third of total market outlay.
This also means more pilots and technicians are 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’ time.
However, Airbus believe this may not be enough and forecasts as many as 560,000 may need to be trained during that period to meet demand as well as offset the retirement of flight crew.
Technician demand is also forecast to grow and Airbus predicts approximately 540,000 new staff will be needed to service aircraft airframes, engines and components.
Airbus is scheduled to further extend its training center network for the training of aircraft technicians, with a new location scheduled to open in Mexico later this summer before new centers are due to open in the next 18 months in New Delhi, along with facilities in Sao Paulo and Vietnam where the OEM will partner with Azul Brazilian Airlines and Vietjet respectively.
Speaking at Farnborough, Laurent Martinez, senior vice-president of Airbus’ services division, 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.
Given the bold figures stated by Airbus, coupled with a wider OEM desire to grow aftermarket service offerings, expanding training capabilities is a sensible decision.