(AOF) – The end of the tunnel is still a long way off for Rolls-Royce. Indeed, the British engine manufacturer has just lowered its forecasts for the flight hours of its aircraft engines for 2021. These should represent 55% of the level reached in 2019, against a previous forecast of 70%. This will affect the group’s cash generation to the tune of £ 2 billion. This lowering of forecasts is linked to the current spread of the Covid-19 pandemic (with the appearance of new variants) and to the restrictive measures taken to contain it.
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Fundamentals of global growth that remain
The current crisis would not permanently call into question the fundamentals of global growth in air transport, which should return to a rate of 4% per year on average over the next twenty years. This should ensure a doubling of the number of air passengers over the period, as well as a near doubling of the global fleet, which would reach 48,400 planes in 2039.
Medium-haul single-aisle planes, such as Airbus A320 and Boeing 737, will still represent the bulk of demand, with 32,270 deliveries scheduled over twenty years. A forecast almost identical to that of 2019. Asia, in particular China, will host most of the world fleet (almost 40% against 30% currently).