As it has for the past several years, Boeing Co.'s latest market outlook projects lusty global demand for new airplanes over the next two decades, driven by growth in China and the Asia Pacific region.
More than 35,000 new airplanes, valued at $4.8 trillion, will be needed
over the next two decades, Boeing says in its annual analysis of the
"We project that 14,350 of these new airplanes (41
percent of the total new deliveries) will replace older, less efficient
airplanes, reducing the cost of air travel and decreasing carbon
emissions," Boeing explains. "The remaining 20,930 airplanes will be for fleet growth,
stimulating expansion in emerging markets and innovative airline
The commercial-aviation industry has been resilient in the face of harrowing economic headwinds, Boeing points out.
"Recovery has followed quickly as the industry reliably returned to its long-term growth rate of approximately 5 percent per year," Boeing says. "Despite uncertainties, 2012 passenger traffic rose 5.3 percent from 2011 levels.
"We expect this trend to continue over the next 20 years, with world passenger traffic growing 5 percent annually."
Over the next two decades, "nearly half of the world's air-traffic growth will be driven by travel to, from or within the Asia Pacific region," Boeing predicts.
"This forecast gives us confidence as we increase our production rates and invest in new products like the 777X and 787-10X," said Randy Tinseth, vice president of marketing for Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
The bulk of the growth over the next 20 years will come in the single-aisle market, with low-cost carriers and emerging markets driving the demand for 24,670 new airplanes in the segment, Boeing predicts.
In the wide-bodies segment—which includes Boeing's embattled 787 Dreamliner—airlines will need 8,590 new jets over the next 20 years, "fueled in part by airlines replacing their older fleet with new, more fuel-efficient airplanes."
After facing high and volatile fuel prices and a highly competitive environment, airlines have been forced to change the way they manage their business.
"Our customers are focused on growing their networks, managing their capacity and investing in new fleets," said Tinseth. "These trends will shape market demand for airplanes that have high efficiency, low operating costs, environmentally progressive technologies and a great passenger experience. We believe Boeing's current and future products are perfectly aligned to meet those needs."