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Airports will handle more large planes

Aircraft manufacturer Airbus, maker of the double decker A380, says that more large planes will be needed to cope with the demand for air travel.

Airbus says 24,300 new passenger and freight aircraft will be needed by 2026. Despite current talks of a recession and tough times ahead for the aviation industry, Airbus is upbeat in its predictions about air travel.

“Passenger traffic is expected to grow at an average rate of 4.9% per year … and will remain resilient to the cyclical effects of the industry. Part of the forecast traffic increase will be absorbed by higher load factors as well as use of bigger more productive equipment and increased frequencies,” says Airbus in a statement on its latest Global Market Forecast.

Airbus foresees a demand for nearly 1,300 Very Large Aircraft (VLA), seating more than 400 passengers like the A380 superjumbo. It says that VLAs will increasingly be needed as the population of major cities grows.

“By 2026, almost two thirds of all VLAs will serve today’s 32 mega hub cities, with Asia-Pacific being the dominant region requiring more than 700 passenger VLAs or 56 per cent of world demand. Twelve of the top 20 large airports for VLA operations will be located in the region,” Airbus forecasts.

The Asia-Pacific region will account for 31% of the total world demand for aircraft, followed by North America (27%) and Europe (24%), says Airbus.

Airliners will also need to be more fuel and eco-efficient, leading to the replacement of older aircraft. Airbus thinks that by 2026 the fuel burn of the average world fleet will be three lites per 100 passenger kilometres, the same as the A380 achieves today.

Singapore Airlines will start flights on the A380 from Heathrow to Singapore from next month.

Written by: Nick Purdom