TOULOUSE, FRANCE — According to European aircraft manufacturer Airbus, the Latin America region will need around 2,460 new passenger and freighter aircraft over the next 20 years.

The planemaker also says more than half of those aircraft will help meet rising demand, while 44 percent will support the replacement of older and less fuel efficient aircraft in the fleets of Latin American airline operators.

Airline passenger traffic in Latin America almost tripled since 2002 and is expected to double over the next two decades. Travel rates per capita in Colombia, Mexico, Argentina, and Brazil lead this passenger traffic growth. In Chile, travel rates per capita will triple. The increase in air travel is being fueled by population and economic growth throughout Latin America, a report published by Airbus says.

Domestic and international passenger traffic in Latin America is expected to grow significantly over the next 20 years by a factor of 2.3, representing an annual growth rate of 3.9%. By 2040, additional traffic will be driven by domestic markets with a 4.2 percent annual growth rate per year. Both intra-Latin America (flights within Latin America) and Caribbean and Latin America-Rest of the World traffic (routes between Latin America and other regions of the world) will grow by 3.5 percent per year. The region’s in-service fleet will double from 1,440 aircraft in-service today to 2,820 in the next two decades. Out of the new passenger and freighter aircraft needed in Latin America and the Caribbean, 2,170 will be for the small segment, 190 for medium aircraft, and 100 for large aircraft.

To fly this growing fleet, there will be a forecasted need for 33,000 new pilots and 43,000 technicians to be trained over the next 20 years in Latin America, representing a growth in the Latin American services market from $5.5 billion in 2021 to $19 billion in 2040.

Latin America and the Caribbean are experiencing an air traffic recovery thanks to the lifting of travel restrictions and increase in vaccination rates. The region's air traffic is expected to reach 2019 levels between 2023 and 2025.

In Latin America and the Caribbean, Airbus has sold over 1,100 aircraft and has a backlog of over 500, with more than 700 in operation throughout the region, representing almost 60 percent market share of the in-service fleet. Since 1994, Airbus has secured approximately 70 percent of net orders in the region.