Airbus, a leading aircraft manufacturer, has revealed that Nigeria must aim to acquire at least 160 aircraft by the year 2042.
Speaking at a media briefing held on Tuesday, ahead of the 7th Aviation Africa Summit and Exhibition opening, in Abuja, the company's marketing director for Africa, Joel Ellers, emphasized that this move is crucial to keep up with the projected growth in air traffic within the country.
"Airline Business modules are different; we will always work out the best module for Nigerian Airline operators. By 2042, there will be a need for 159 additional Aircraft to service Nigeria's market," he said.
He said the number of aircraft includes 131 single-aisle aircraft such as the A220, A320 families, and 28 widebody aircraft such as the A330 and A350 families serving the Nigerian market in the next two decades.
He explained that in the wider African continent, 1180 new aircraft would be needed for the continent by 2042, made up of 295 widebody and 885 single-aisle aircraft.
Ellers added that during this period, the fleet in the region would transition to new generation types such as the A220, A320neo family, A330neo and A350 bringing significant efficiency improvement and a corresponding reduction in carbon emissions per passenger.
Ellers said air traffic in Nigeria is expected to increase by 5 per cent over the next two decades, highlighting the need for a significant expansion of the country's aviation infrastructure.
In addition, he stated that passenger traffic in Nigeria is predicted to grow by 2.9% in the next 20 years.
He said the anticipated growth is driven by various factors, including the country's economic development, population growth, and increasing urbanization.
"For Nigeria, we believe that domestic traffic will grow by just over 5 per cent every year for the next 20 years. Inter-Africa, excluding domestics, will be over 7per cent traffic to Europe. So, traffic to Europe grows by about 3 per cent year on year same with the US as well", he said.
Ellers added that Airbus also predicts that the aviation sector growth on the continent would drive average yearly services demand up by 4.1%, from $2 billion to $7 billion.
He said: "Growing Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) services at both local and regional level are central to the sector's growth, safety and longevity.
"The expansion of MRO capabilities in the country could serve to bring in additional revenues, reduce aircraft maintenance costs and provide even further opportunities for job creation and skills development in Nigeria and the continent at large.
"As Nigeria and indeed Africa's aerospace industry grows and becomes more dynamic, an increasing demand for specialized skills is creating thousands of new opportunities for young people on the continent. Already, an estimated 7.7 million direct and indirect jobs have been created by the industry in Africa."
Airbus, however, predicted that a further 17,000 technicians, 14,000 pilots and 23,000 cabin crew positions would be required across Africa in the next 20 years.