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Boeing Projects Aircraft Demand to Fall -11%

Oct. 7, 2020
The 2020 edition of the Boeing Market Outlook sees commercial aviation and services markets struggling to recover the growth rates of recent years, though the defense aerospace sector will be more stable.

Boeing issued a new forecast of near-, medium- and long-term demand in commercial and defense aircraft, putting some figures to define the industry's newly diminished outlook. The COVID-19 pandemic has curtailed commercial air travel, causing airlines to cancel orders and reducing the need for aircraft replacement and maintenance.

The 2020 edition of the Boeing Market Outlook (BMO) projects that the commercial aviation and services markets will continue to face significant challenges, though defense and government services sectors will be more stable.

Global commercial airplane demand is projected to be worth $2.9 trillion over the next 10 years, -11% from the 2019 outlook and representing total demand for 18,350 commercial jets.

Longer term, the industry's demand is expected to remain stable, and world's commercial aircraft fleet is forecast to recover to its growth trend: Boeing foresees demand for over 43,000 new airplanes through 2039. 

While Boeing notes that commercial airlines have begun to recover from the lowest point of inactivity during the 2020 pandemic, it says a full recovery will take several years.

"While this year has been unprecedented in terms of its disruption to our industry, we believe that aerospace and defense will overcome these near-term challenges, return to stability and emerge with strength," stated Boeing chief strategy officer Marc Allen.

The BMO sees a total market value of $8.5 trillion through 2030, including demand for aerospace products and services, $200 million lower than the comparable forecast from 2019.

The total global aircraft fleet will increase from 25,900 aircraft in service today to 48,400 by 2039, according to the BMO report.

"Commercial aviation is facing historic challenges this year, significantly affecting near- and medium-term demand for airplanes and services," stated Darren Hulst, v.p., Commercial Marketing. "Yet history has also proven air travel to be resilient time and again. The current disruption will inform airline fleet strategies long into the future, as airlines focus on building versatile fleets, networks and business model innovations that deliver the most capability and greatest efficiency at the lowest risk for sustainable growth."

In the defense and space sectors (military aircraft, drone systems, satellites, spacecraft), the BMO projects 10-year demand at $2.6 trillion during the next decade. Boeing noted this represents global demand, with 40% of expenditures expected to originate outside of the U.S.

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