November 30, 2016
Europe’s aviation market remained strong in 2015 despite significant economic uncertainties. Europe’s GDP grew by 1.9 percent in 2015 and is forecast to grow by 1.8 percent annually through 2035. The Association of European Airlines reports that member airlines carried approximately 307 million passengers, 4.3 percent more passenger traffic in 2015 than in 2014. Members of the European Low Fares Airline Association reported an increase in passengers of about 12.3 percent over 2014. European airlines acquired more than 240 new airplanes in 2015, of which 67 percent were single aisle.
The European aviation market is expected to grow during the next 20 years, with airlines forecast to acquire more than 7,500 new airplanes valued at over $1.1 trillion. Single-aisle airplanes will comprise the majority of deliveries, representing a 78 percent share of total deliveries. Although European aviation growth is slower than aviation growth in emerging economies, the region’s large installed base of more than 4.600 airplanes supports substantial demand for replacement airplanes. Replacement demand will account for 56 percent of Europe’s total new airplane market.
Airline operations in Europe continue to evolve with the launch of new ventures, routes, and business models. Norwegian Air Shuttle continues to expand their long-haul low-cost carrier (LCC) operations, while Lufthansa has launched a long-haul LCC subsidiary to compete for leisure passengers. The introduction of the 787 has allowed operators to economically serve long-haul, nonstop markets that have not been served before. European operators have been on the forefront of this trend, with 96 long-haul routes introduced since 2012—the most of any region.