Brazilian aerospace group Embraer, one of the world’s top two regional jet manufacturers, has forecast a global demand for 10 550 new airliners with capacities of 150 seats or fewer over the next 20 years. This prediction was made at Farnborough, in the UK, on the day before the start of the 2018 edition of the world-renowned Farnborough Airshow.
At the end of this period, the global fleet of such airliners will total 16 000, compared with the worldwide fleet of 9 000 today. Of the new aircraft to be acquired, 35% will be to replace existing airliners and 65% to meet growing markets.
Embraer’s analysis splits the world into seven regions. Demand for airliners in these areas is expected to vary considerably.
The four regions that will see the most demand for new aircraft will be Asia-Pacific, which will take 28% of the total; North America, which will account for 27%; Europe (21%) and Latin America (11%). The three regions with the lowest demand will be the member States of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS – centred on Russia), with 6%; Africa, with 4%; and the Middle East (3%). In terms of the numbers of aircraft, Asia-Pacific is forecast to take 3 000, North America 2 780, Europe 2 240, Latin America 1 140, the CIS 580, Africa 450 and the Middle East 360.
“Past performance is no guarantee of future results,” observed Embraer Commercial Aviation president and CEO John Slattery. “Even though every facet of the industry has excelled over the past years, we are now warming up for the next period of higher costs, with pressures on yields likely to continue unabated. Profits are eroding and gains wiped out with rising costs.”
“The economic performance of the airline industry will mostly depend on how far costs will rise and to what extent the industry can sustain a healthy revenue environment,” said the company in its statement. “Aircraft in the up-to-150-seat segment are the best placed to combine cost efficiency with stronger yields.”
The group argues that the latest generation of small and regional airliners is ending the situation where smaller airlines have higher costs per available seat kilometres (CASK) than larger aircraft. (CASK measures an airline’s unit costs.) The newest small airliners are not vastly different to larger single-aisle airliners in terms of seat cost economics, with a “trip cost advantage” of about 20%. It affirms that “[a]ircraft in the up-to-150-seat segment [are] one of the main pillars of business sustainability.”