Airbus predicts Africa will require at least 1,180 new aircraft by 2042, as the demand is projected to overgrow the current capacity.

The fleet, says the plane maker, will be made up of 295 widebody and 885 single-aisle aircraft that different African carriers are expected to order.

“During this period, the fleet in the region will transition to new generation types such as the A220, A320neo family, A330neo and A350 bringing significant efficiency improvement and a corresponding reduction in carbon emissions per passenger,” said the company.

Airbus also predicts that the aviation sector growth on the continent will drive average yearly services demand up by 4.1 percent, from $2 billion to $7 billion.

“Growing Maintenance Repair and overhaul (MRO) services at both local and regional level are central to the sector’s growth, safety and longevity,” said the Toulouse-based plane maker.

“The expansion of MRO capabilities in the country could serve to bring in additional revenues, reduce aircraft maintenance costs and provide even further opportunities for job creation and skills development in Nigeria and the continent at large.”

Engineer working on an Airbus Aircraft ordered by Qantas. Photo (courtesy).
Engineer working on an Airbus Aircraft ordered by Qantas. Photo (courtesy).

Airbus says over the past 10 years, significant improvements to the industry have been made across the continent, including the creation of the Single African Air Transport Market as well as the modernisation of fleets by national airlines.

There are currently 265 Airbus commercial jetliners flying with 36 operators in Africa. Carriers such as Ethiopian Airlines, Ibom Air, Air Senegal, South African Airways, Air Côte d’Ivoire, EgyptAir, Uganda Airlines and Air Tanzania, are operating some of the most technologically advanced aircraft such as the A350, A330neo, A320neo and the A220.

Airbus made the remarks during a news conference in Nigeria where it projected that the country will require nearly 160 passenger and freight aircraft by 2042.

This includes 131 single-aisle aircraft such as the A220, A320 families, and 28 widebody aircraft such as the A330 and A350 families serving the Nigerian market in the next two decades.

“As Nigeria and indeed Africa’s aerospace industry grows and becomes more dynamic, an increasing demand for specialised skills is creating thousands of new opportunities for young people on the continent,” said Airbus.