Boeing has lifted its long-term forecast for commercial airplanes as rising passenger traffic and upcoming airplane retirements drive the need for 42,730 new jets – valued at $6.3 trillion – over the next 20 years.
In turn, Airbus predicts the world’s passenger fleet will require 40,000 new planes over the next 20 years.
The global airplane fleet will also sustain growing demand for commercial aviation services, leading to a total market opportunity of $15 trillion, according to Boeing.
The company’s annual forecast, renamed the Commercial Market Outlook to include detailed analysis of the dynamic aviation services market, was presented today at the Farnborough International Airshow.
The 2018 outlook projects the total number of airplanes increasing 4.1 percent over the previous forecast.
“For the first time in years, we are seeing economies growing in every region of the world.
“This synchronised growth is providing more stimulus for global air travel.
“We are seeing strong traffic trends not only in the emerging markets of China and India, but also the mature markets of Europe and North America,” said Randy Tinseth, vice president of commercial marketing for the Boeing Company.
“Along with continued traffic expansion, the data show a big retirement wave approaching as older airplanes age out of the global fleet.”
According to fleet data, there are more than 900 airplanes today that are over 25 years old.
By the mid 2020’s, more than 500 airplanes a year will reach 25 years of age – double the current rate – fuelling the retirement wave.
Tinseth said the data explain why 44 per cent of the new airplanes will be needed to cover replacement alone, while the rest will support future growth.
Including airplanes that will be retained, the global fleet is projected to essentially double in size to 48,540 by 2037.
Boeing thinks the single-aisle segment will see the most growth over the forecast period, with a demand for 31,360 new airplanes, an increase of 6.1 per cent over last year.
This $3.5 trillion market is driven in large part by the continued growth of low-cost carriers, strong demand in emerging markets, and increasing replacement demand in markets such as China and south-east Asia.
The widebody segment calls for 8,070 new airplanes valued at nearly $2.5 trillion over the next twenty years.
Widebody demand is spearheaded, in part, by a large wave of replacements beginning early in the next decade and airlines deploying advanced jets such as the 787 Dreamliner and 777X to expand their global networks.
Additionally, Boeing projects the need for 980 new production widebody freighters over the forecast period, up 60 airplanes over last year.
In addition, operators are forecasted to buy 1,670 converted freighters.
The massive fleet generates a strong and growing demand for aviation services ranging from supply chain support (parts and parts logistics), to maintenance and engineering services, to aircraft modifications, to airline operations.
Over the next 20 years, Boeing forecast an $8.8 trillion market for commercial aviation services with annual growth of 4.2 per cent.
“The commercial airplane business fuels an enormous ecosystem of service providers.
“Our combined forecast shows the full picture of the $15 trillion commercial market ahead of us,” Tinseth said.
“We see a market in which airlines outsource more and more, a market in which data and data analytics help aircraft and airline networks become more efficient and reliable, and a market in which new technologies provide new services solutions.
“All of these trends drive greater demand for integrated solutions over the life of an airplane.”