Airbus have predicted the world’s passenger and freighter aircraft fleet will more than double to almost 48,000 by 2038.

With traffic growing at 4.3% annually, 550,000 new pilots and 640,000 new technicians are required to meet demand, Airbus added.

The company said air traffic had shown resilience to economic shocks and political unrest by more than doubling since 2000.

"Economies thrive on air transportation. People and goods want to connect,” said Christian Scherer, Airbus Chief Commercial Officer and Head of Airbus International.

"Globally, commercial aviation stimulates GDP growth and supports 65 million livelyhoods, demonstrating the immense benefits our business brings to all societies and global trade."

Airbus said 39,210 of the 2038 forecasted 47,680 fleet would be new. Of these, 25,000 aircraft are for growth and 14,210 are to replace older models with more efficient newer models. The remaining 8,470 would be from today.

It added that updating fleets with fuel efficient aircraft will mean it will largely contribute to the decarbonisation of the air transport industry and the goal of carbon neutral growth from 2020.

Airbus rivals Boeing predicted in July that 804,000 new pilots, 769,000 new technicians and 914,000 new cabin crew will be needed over the next 20 years.