Asia Pacific airlines are expected to take delivery of one new aircraft every day over the next five years, resulting in a 49% increase in the total number of aircraft in the region’s fleet, net of disposals. The data, contained in the latest Ascend Global Aircraft detailed global fleet forecast, shows a 35% increase in the Asia Pacific (including India and China) widebody aircraft fleet (to 1,585 units by 2013), a 51% increase in narrowbodies (to 3,195 aircraft) and a 113% increase in regional jets (to 375 aircraft), due mainly to expected growth in China.
A further 1,759 aircraft are scheduled for delivery to Asia Pacific airlines between 2013 and 2018, resulting in a regional fleet of 2,158 widebodies, 4,047 narrowbodies and 709 regional jets.
The proportion of widebodies in the region compared to the worldwide fleet is set to rise from 38% in 2008 to 41% by 2018, while the region’s narrowbody fleet is poised to soar from 21% of the worldwide total this year to 25% in just five years, and stay at that proportion in 2018.
The regional jet fleet in Asia Pacific accounts for just 6% of the global total, but the Ascend forecast predicts this will rise to 9% in 2013 and more than double to 13% by 2018.
But one airline - from outside the region - is set to eclipse all other long-haul carriers. Emirates has estimated it would become the largest long-haul airline in the world by 2012, when it carries 33 million passengers. The Dubai-based airline, which launched services to its 100th destination – Cape Town – last week, currently has 114 aircraft in service and a further 243 on order.
But technically, in terms of total international traffic (including short and long-haul) Emirates will still have several large carriers ahead of it in 2012, including two rapidly expanding European LCCs, Ryanair & easyJet.
|World’s largest international airlines: 2006|
|Source: Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation & IATA|
But stripping out the European short-haul operations of the current top six, and assuming current industry aircraft orders are maintained, Emirates will become the largest international airline by 2012.