CAPE TOWN, South Africa – Boeing forecasts that air carriers in Africa will experience steady growth over the next 20 years as air travel in Africa continues to grow with the economy.
The African economy is projected to grow 4.8 percent in 2010 following 2.9 percent growth in 2009. This strong growth results from worldwide recovery stimulating demand for African exports as well as imports into the continent. West Africa shows the strongest growth with foreign interest in petroleum development.
“As the demand for African commodities grows and foreign development and tourism increase, African carriers will require a modernized fleet in order to compete on routes historically dominated by foreign carriers,” said Mike Warner, senior market analyst for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, today at a media briefing in Cape Town. “Africa’s current fleet is nearly 20 years old on average in a market that demands newer, more fuel-efficient airplanes to help offset the rising cost of fuel.”
Boeing’s forecast calls for the delivery of more than 700 airplanes with a value of approximately $80 billion for the African airplane market over the next 20 years.
Growth in the airline market, along with the demand to replace older, less fuel-efficient single-aisle airplanes and regional jets with new-generation, more fuel-efficient models, will drive new airplane deliveries.
Strong demand exists to support increased non-stop routes between Africa and Europe, the United States, the Middle East, India, and China. Twin-aisle fleets will evolve in the region as airlines continue to expand international services. Boeing forecasts that twin-aisle airplanes will account for 32 percent of new airplanes delivered to African carriers over the next 20 years compared to 23 percent worldwide. Single-aisle airplanes will represent 60 percent of the African new-airplane market, compared to 69 percent worldwide.
Newer airplane types such as the Next-Generation 737 and 787 Dreamliner offer significant advantages in environmental performance as well as improved capabilities, fuel efficiency and maintenance costs.
Today’s market update was part of a series of briefings that highlight Boeing’s airplane capabilities and advantages as well as discuss the African aviation market for the next 20 years. Boeing kicked off the effort at last month’s Aviation & Allied Business Leaders conference in Gaborone, Botswana. Later this year, Boeing will participate in the Airlines Association of South Africa Annual General Meeting in Manzini, Swaziland, in October and the African Airlines Association General Assembly and conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in November.