Boeing forecasts demand for 38,050 airplanes over next 20 years

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Published: June 12, 2015 5:27:03 PM

Boeing has forecast a demand for 38,050 new airplanes over the next 20 years, an increase of 3.5 per cent over last year's forecast

Boeing has forecast a demand for 38,050 new airplanes over the next 20 years, an increase of 3.5 per cent over last year’s forecast. Boeing released its annual Current Market Outlook (CMO) this week, estimating the total value of those new airplanes at US$5.6 trillion.

Randy Tinseth, vice president, marketing, Boeing Commercial Airplanes said, “The commercial airplane market continues to be strong and resilient. As we look forward, we expect the market to continue to grow and the demand for new aircraft to be robust.”

By the end of the forecast period, the commercial airplane fleet will double, from 21,600 airplanes in 2014 to 43,560 airplanes in 2034. Some 58 per cent of the 38,050 airplanes delivered over that time will be to accommodate growth. Passenger traffic will continue to grow at about a 4.9 per cent annual pace, near the historic trend line of five per cent. More than seven billion passengers will fly by the end of the forecast period. Cargo traffic will grow at about 4.7 per cent per year.

The single-aisle market continues to be the fastest-growing, largest overall segment, requiring 26,730 airplanes over the coming two decades. These aircraft are the foundation of the world’s airline fleet, carrying up to 75 per cent of passengers on more than 70 per cent of the world’s commercial aviation routes. This sector is fueled by growth in low-cost carriers and airlines in developing and emerging markets.

Tinseth added, “At the heart of the single-aisle market are the Boeing 737-800 and the future 737 MAX 8. These airplanes offer customers the most fuel efficiency, reliability and capability in this class.”

About 35 per cent of the single-aisle market will go to low-cost carriers, Tinseth noted, “Low-cost carriers will require airplanes that combine the best economics with the most revenue potential. With 20 per cent lower fuel use, the 737 MAX 200 will be the ideal machine for them.”

Boeing forecasts that the widebody segment will require 8,830 new airplanes, led, it believes, by small widebody airplanes in the 200- to 300-seat range such as the 787-8 and 787-9 Dreamliner. Perhaps not surprisingly, this year’s Boeing forecast reflects a continued shift in demand from very large airplanes such as the Airbus A380, to efficient new twin-engine products such as the 787 and new 777X. While airline growth still accounts for the majority of new demand, a large and growing number of aging aircraft will require replacement. About two to three per cent of the installed fleet will require replacement each year. “The 737 MAX, 777 and 787 are perfectly positioned to capture this important wave of replacement,” Tinseth said.

The air cargo market continues to strengthen, and will drive demand of some 920 new airplanes over the 20-year forecast. “We’ve seen two years of solid growth in the air cargo market and we expect that growth to continue,” Tinseth said. “”That’s great news for our line of production freighters, including the 747-8, 767 and 777.”

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