Airbus is predicting that the number of commercial aircraft required around the world will double in the next 20 years.

The revised forecasts were made at a London press briefing late on Tuesday and follows a similar upwardly revised forecast from Boeing.

The additional demand will be driven by increased passenger journeys in emerging markets, particularly China.

Shanghai Capital International routes - screenshot
Shanghai Capital International Airport routes – screenshot

The company said there are many factors behind the global increase, such as economic growth, a bigger global middle class, migration and tourism.

The manufacturer predicted that by 2032 the number of mega cities — those whose airports serve more than 10,000 long-haul passengers daily — will more than double to 89 from 42 now and that 99 percent of the world’s long-haul traffic will be between or through these.

Fabrice Bregier, President and CEO of Airbus followed this up at today’s opening of the Aviation Expo China in Beijing with the announcement of a new version of its popular wide body A330-300 aircraft.

He stated that “We are announcing the new A330-300 lower weight variant today in China because here we see strong pent-up demand for efficient and reliable wide-body aircraft connecting mega cities such as Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu and Guangzhou.”

China Airlines A330-300 (B-18302) - photo © Tsaiwenwei -
China Airlines A330-300 (B-18302) – photo © Tsaiwenwei –

Compared to current A330-300 variants that are adapted to longer-range missions the new A330-300 regional and domestic variant will be optimised to seat up to around 400 passengers and will offer significant cost savings through a reduced operational weight of around 200 tonnes.

In addition to improved fuel economy and the latest cockpit technologies passgngers will benefit from modern slimline light-weight seats, high broadband wi-fi connectivity, the latest HDTV In-Flight Entertainment systems, LED lighting and full colour mood lighting!

You can find the full press release for the A330-300 here:

Interactive route map:

Interactive route map – Shanghai Capital International Airport (PEK):

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