Boeing Forecasts $4-Trillion Global Jet Market

June 17, 2011
30-year outlook sees emerging market demand, fuel-efficiency driving growth

The Boeing Co. released a bullish 20-year commercial aircraft market forecast that starts with a recovered and expanding global market and maintains momentum with steady demand for passenger and freight jets over the decades. The Boeing 2011 Current Market Outlook estimates a total global market valued at $4 trillion through 2030. In terms of volume, the CMO sees demand for 33,500 new jets over the decades.

"The world market has recovered and is now expanding at a significant rate," stated Boeing Commercial Airplanes’ Randy Tinseth, vice president of Marketing. "Not only is there a strong demand for air travel and new airplanes today, but the fundamental drivers of air travel – including economic growth, world trade and liberalization – all point to a healthy long-term demand."

Boeing predicts passenger air traffic will grow at a 5.1% annual rate over 20 years, and double the size of the world’s current fleet of commercial jets by 2030. “Robust” demand in emerging markets (China, India, and others) will be higher than the average (7% in China, 7.1% in India), and effectively bring greater balance to overall global demand. The Asia-Pacific region will receive more than a one-third of new deliveries over the coming two decades, and the Middle East and Latin America also will show very strong growth.

Demand from Europe and North America will be driven by carriers replacing older, less-fuel efficient jets.

The greater portion of all new deliveries will be new single-aisle jets, already seeing strong demand. By 2030, Boeing predicts single-aisle jets will comprise 70% of all those in service. However, there is at present an industry backlog of orders for more than 2,000 twin-aisle jets, driven by an increase in “long-haul” flights and that trend is seen continuing in Boeing’s forecast.

There is also increasing demand for twin-aisle, long-range jets, like Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner. But, Boeing warns that “while passengers are getting what they want – more frequencies and nonstop service – rising and volatile fuel prices are expected to continue to challenge the industry.”

Boeing projects air-cargo traffic will grow at a 5.6% annual rate over 20 years, expanding the world’s fleet of freight aircraft from 1,760 to 3,500 airplanes, with additions coming in the form of new aircraft ($250 billion for 970 new freight aircraft by 2030) as well as 1,990 converted passenger jets. Most of the new freighters will be large jets (an estimated 690 jets with 88.2-tons carrying capacity) though a steady demand will remain for medium-sized carriers (280 jets with 44.1- to 88.2-tons capacity.) No new standard-body freighters will be required, Boeing predicts, though it predicts 1,240 standard-body conversions.

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