African air traffic will grow at well above the world average rate over the next 20 years according to Airbus’ latest Global Market Forecast. Average annual passenger growth rates to, from and within Africa are expected to reach 5.7% over the next 20 years, in comparison to a world average growth rate of 4.7 per year.
With the African population growing and the middle-class forecast to triple by 2031, more and more people are expected to have the means to fly. The low cost market, with just 6% of African traffic today, has huge potential to grow considering more mature markets typically have a low cost share of over 30%. This will help to bring the benefits of flying within reach of even more people.
With these positive developments in the region, the Airbus Global Market Forecast predicts that the African aircraft fleet (>100 seats) is set to more than double from around 600 aircraft to more than 1,400 by 2031.
Airbus projects a need for 957 new passenger aircraft with a value of $118bn by 2031, comprising 724 single-aisle aircraft, such as the A320 Family, 204 twin-aisles such as the all new A350 XWB and the long range A330 Family, and 29 very large aircraft such as the A380.
“International traffic to and from South Africa has doubled in the last 20 years and we expect it to more than double in the next 20” said Andrew Gordon, Director Strategic Marketing and Analysis. “There is no doubt that South Africa is helping to drive the development of aviation on the continent. Johannesburg will reinforce its position as one of the world’s aviation mega-cities, a focal point for traffic coming into the region and then connecting these passengers to the rest of Africa.”
Airbus continues to be the preferred choice for new airlines in the region, with 12 airlines selecting Airbus aircraft for their operations over the last two years, and is well placed to meet demand thanks to its modern and efficient aircraft and 24/7 customer support facilities in the region.
With a world-wide demand for over 28,200 passenger and freight aircraft in the next 20 years, two South African companies are set to benefit through their work with Airbus on its modern and eco-efficient aircraft family. Cobham Omnipless provides the satellite communication system for all Airbus commercial aircraft, while Aerosud produces aerostructures for the A350 XWB and the A320 family.