The world will need £2.1 trillion (US$2.8 trillion) worth of new aircraft over the next 20 years, according to a new report from Cirium.

The huge spend comes despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic significantly reducing new aircraft deliveries during 2020.

The Cirium Fleet Forecast is published by Ascend by Cirium, the consultancy arm of the global aviation and air travel data and analytics company, Cirium.

It predicts that 43,315 new passenger and freighter aircraft will be delivered between 2020 and 2039.

That represents an eight per cent drop compared to the 20-year outlook in the 2019 Cirium Fleet Forecast and includes some 4,600 fewer deliveries in the next decade.

Chris Seymour, Ascend by Cirium head of market analysis, said: “Following ten consecutive years of uninterrupted demand growth, the 2020 Covid-19 crisis has led to a dramatic reduction in global traffic and record industry losses.

“Worldwide deliveries during 2020 are expected to be 45 per cent lower than in 2019.

“However, the numbers will gradually recover and surpass the previous peak (in 2018) during 2025, assuming traffic bounces back as predicted.”

Flying hours will also fall by 45 per cent in 2020 to 94 million, compared to 170 million in 2019.

However, the use of more fuel-efficient aircraft this year means that total CO2 emissions are likely to fall by half.

Over the next 20 years, total flying hours will increase to 310 million.

Asian markets will be the growth engine for the global aviation industry during the next two decades.

China looks to be the biggest single destination for new commercial and passenger aircraft deliveries between 2020 and 2039, with a 22 per cent share – one point ahead of the rest of Asia combined.

The share of deliveries to Europe will drop four per cent, from the 20 per cent we see now to 16 per cent by 2039.

This still means that over 7,000 new aircraft will be delivered to European airlines over the two decades.

Only six per cent of new aircraft will be delivered to the Middle East, however as these deliveries comprise higher levels of twin-aisle aircraft, the region will account for ten per cent of the total value of deliveries.