Africa needs 250 widebodies including cargo model for air-freight growth, says Boeing

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Boeing recently released a forecast that Africa airlines will require 250 new widebodies, including passenger and cargo models, to support long-haul routes and air freight growth. Approximately 1,030 new airplanes by 2040 valued at $160 billion and aftermarket services will be required such as manufacturing and repair worth $235 billion with an idea to grow economies and air travel across the continent. 

Boeing shared the projection as part of the 2021 Commercial Market Outlook (CMO), the company’s long-term assessment of demand for commercial airplanes and services. Africa’s strong, long-term growth prospects for commercial aviation are tied to the continent’s projected 3 percent annual economic growth over the next 20 years, says the official release.

The 2021 Africa CMO also includes these projections through 2040:

  • Single-aisle jets are expected to account for more than 70 percent of commercial deliveries, with 740 new planes mainly supporting domestic and inter-regional demand. 
  • Airlines in Africa will grow their fleets by 3.6 percent per year to accommodate passenger traffic growth of 5.4 percent annually, the third highest growth rate in the world.
  • 80 percent of African jet deliveries are expected to serve fleet growth with more sustainable, fuel-efficient models such as the 737, 777X and 787 Dreamliner, with 20 percent of deliveries replacing older airplanes.
  • Estimated demand for aviation personnel will rise to 63,000 new professionals, including 19,000 pilots, 20,000 technicians and 24,000 cabin crew members.

Initiatives such as the African Continental Free Trade Area and Single African Air Transport Market are expected to stimulate economic cooperation and trade.  


Photo Credit: Boeing African Commercial Market Outlook

“African carriers are well-positioned to support inter-regional traffic growth and capture market share by offering services that efficiently connect passengers and enable commerce within the continent,”said Randy Heisey, Boeing managing director of Commercial Marketing for Middle East and Africa.

Commercial services opportunities such as supply chain, manufacturing, repair and overhaul are valued at $235 billion.

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