Commercial aircraft services market to double in value by 2041 – Airbus

Airbus maintenance staff inspect an aircraft nosegear assembly.
Photo Credit: Airbus

LONDON – In a release this week, aircraft manufacturer Airbus has said that it expects the aviation services market to recover to pre-pandemic levels in 2023. Beyond that, the manufacturer projects that the services market will double in value in the next 20 years.

Airbus expects the services market to recover to pre pandemic levels in 2023 and to double in value over the next 20 years – from $95bn today to over $230bn in 2041, according to its latest Global Services Forecast (GSF), Airbus estimates that the market will increase in value from its $95bn worth  today to over $230bn in 2041.

The upshot of this growth is that the number of people working in aviation services, keeping the world’s fleets flying on a daily basis, is set to increase by a further two million.

“Every day millions of people in services, hidden champions behind the scenes, keep our global fleet of aircraft flying. Alone the number of pilots, cabin crews and maintenance specialists is set to grow by a further two million by 2041”, says Philippe Mhun, Airbus EVP Programmes and Services.

“Accelerated digitalisation of operations and maintenance as well as a higher proportion of latest generation aircraft in service will lead to a massive requirement for new skills and job creation. Leveraging new tools and ways of working in order to further increase our sector’s efficiency, reduce fuel consumption and emissions.” 

The growing demand for skilled labour

A compounded annual growth rate of 3.7%, will lead to a doubling in the value of the services market in the next two decades with a bigger than ever demand for highly skilled labour.

This represents a potential demand for 585,000 new pilots, 640,000 new technicians and 875,000 new cabin crews. 

As operators focus more on their core business, services to improve aircraft availability and efficiency will increasingly be outsourced, boosting the market for those providers.

These services will be driven by sustainability and enabled by digitalisation, connectivity and innovation, to maximise efficiency in support of CO2 net zero ambitions.

Philippe Mhun concludes: “The GSF confirms our strategy and we are ready. Customer experience is our priority. Customer value will be underpinned by excellence in sustainable services and new energy transition, fully leveraging our Airbus Skywise digital capabilities.”

“Aviation services will remain one of the most advanced and international industries, keeping our customers and society at large at the heart of our operations.”


Airbus observe that 2022 has effectively been a year of transition in the industry. Flight Cycles, one of the key drivers to forecast services demand, are recovering at different paces, depending on routes and regions.

Even with pandemic restrictions being progressively lifted one key underlying factor has become apparent – supply restrictions and skilled workforce shortages, coupled with economic uncertainty, is affecting the short-term traffic recovery.

We have witnessed short-term chaos at airports as both airport management and airline operators grapple with problems of staff shortages in key service areas, and industrial unrest with strike actions.

As we move through the year of transition, towards next year, which Airbus projects will see a recovery to pre-pandemic levels, the acquisition, training and development of human resources in the aviation service sector will very likely become a key focus for longer term success.

You can view the full Airbus Global Services Forecast discussion here:

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