Airbus Says Latin American Airlines Will Need 2,460 New Planes By 2040

The Latin American region could need up to 2,460 new airplanes by 2040, according to a recent analysis made by Airbus. Nearly 90% of the aircraft needs in the area correspond with narrowbody A320-like units.

new planes

Airbus believes the passenger traffic in the Latin American region will double in the next two decades, impulsed by the growth of the markets in Colombia, Mexico, Argentina, and Brazil. Therefore, Airbus is projecting the need for 2,460 new airplanes in the region, some for replacing older aircraft but most to cope with the increasing demand.


Currently, Airbus has sold over 1,100 planes in the region and has unfilled orders for more than 500 units from many carriers in the region, like Volaris, LATAM, and Avianca (an airline that, earlier this week, confirmed an order for 88 new Airbus A320neo planes and purchase options for 50 more).

Approximately 60% of the Latin American commercial fleet is composed of Airbus aircraft. The remaining is mainly composed of Boeing units, Embraer, ATR, and even a few Saab planes in Guatemala.

The Latin American region has approximately 1,440 aircraft in service right now. By 2040, Airbus projects the active fleet will be of around 2,820 planes.

About 2,170 new aircraft (out of the 2,460 new ones needed, or 88%) will be narrowbody. The Airbus A320 family is the most popular in the region, followed by the Boeing 737 family and the Embraer E190.

Airbus believes the Latin American region will need 190 medium-sized planes and only 100 widebody planes in the next two decades.

07_A320neo MSN7126 LATAM roll out-021

The Latin American region will need 2,170 new narrowbody aircraft by 2040. Photo: Airbus.

Current orders

According to data provided by ch-aviation, there are currently 631 commercial aircraft on order in Latin America and the Caribbean Airlines by 15 airlines.

Boeing has to deliver 184 aircraft, of which only eight are widebodies (by Aeromexico, LATAM, and Avianca). Airbus has to deliver 386 aircraft, of which zero are widebodies. Embraer and ATR also have a few planes on order from only one customer, Azul Linhas Aereas.

Airbus’ customer with the most significant unfilled order in Latin America is the Mexican low-cost carrier Volaris; Boeing’s largest customer is Brazil’s GOL Linhas Aeroas.


The number of passengers will double in the region. Photo: Getty Images.

More pilots needed

Doubling the Latin American commercial aviation fleet will require the training of many new pilots, Airbus said. Worldwide, the commercial aviation industry is expected to suffer a pilot shortage. However, Latin America seems to be one of the regions that will not suffer significantly from the lack of qualified personnel, remaining closer to equilibrium between retired and new pilots, according to a study made by Oliver Wyman.

Airbus expects the region will need 33,000 new pilots and 43,000 new technicians in the next 20 years in Latin America.

The European aircraft manufacturer added,

“Domestic and international passenger traffic in Latin America is expected to grow significantly over the next 20 years, multiplying by 2.3 times, representing an annual growth rate of 3.9%. Latin America and the Caribbean are experiencing a recovery in air traffic due to the lifting of travel restrictions and increased vaccination rates. The region’s air traffic is expected to reach 2019 levels between 2023 and 2025.”

Do you expect Airbus to keep its market share in the Latin American region in the next two decades? Let us know in the comments below.


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