Boeing, Airbus both forecast growth with Asia leading the way

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SA2024 Digital BannerBoeing and Airbus both recently released forecasts showing an upbeat outlook for future sales with Asia leading the way.

Boeing projected global demand for 42,595 new commercial jets by 2042, valued at $8 trillion. Boeing released its 2023 Commercial Market Outlook (CMO), the company’s forecast of 20-year demand for commercial airplanes and services, in advance of the Paris Air Show. The new CMO comes three years after the pandemic grounded most of the global fleet. Key findings include:

  • Passenger traffic continuing to outpace global economic growth of 2.6%.
  • The global fleet nearly doubling to 48,600 jets, expanding 3.5% per year.
  • Airlines replacing about half of the global fleet with new, more fuel-efficient models.

“The aviation industry has demonstrated resilience and adaptability after unprecedented disruption, with airlines responding to challenges, simplifying their fleets, improving efficiency and capitalising on resurgent demand,” said Brad McMullen, Boeing senior vice president of Commercial Sales and Marketing. “Looking to the future of air travel, our 2023 CMO reflects further evolution of passenger traffic tied to global growth of the middle class, investments in sustainability, continued growth for low-cost carriers, and air cargo demand to serve evolving supply chains and express cargo delivery.”

Boeing’s projections for regional demand and key trends through 2042 include:

  • Asia-Pacific markets to represent more than 40% of global demand with half of that total in China.
  • South Asia’s fleet will expand more than 7% annually, the world’s fastest rate, with India accounting for more than 90% of the region’s passenger traffic.
  • North America and Europe each will account for about 20% of global demand.
  • Low-cost carriers will operate more than 40% of the single-aisle fleet in 2042, up from 10% 20 years ago.
  • After omitting demand for Russia and Central Asia in last year’s CMO due to uncertainty in the region, this year’s forecast covers Russia and Central Asia in the Eurasia region, which comprises about 3% of the global fleet by 2042.
  • Commercial Services forecasts a total served market worth $3.8 trillion, including digital solutions that increase efficiency and reduce cost; robust demand for parts and supply chain solutions; growing maintenance and modification options; and effective training to enhance safety and support the pilot and technician pipeline.

Also in the 20-year forecast period, Boeing anticipates demand for these models:

  • New single-aisle airplanes will account for more than 75% of all new deliveries, up slightly from the 2022 outlook, and totalling more than 32,000 airplanes.
  • New widebody jets will be nearly 20% of deliveries, with more than 7,400 airplanes enabling airlines to open new markets and serve existing routes more efficiently.
  • Air cargo will continue to outpace global trade growth, with carriers requiring 2,800 dedicated freighters. This includes more than 900 new widebodies as well as converted narrow-body and widebody models.
NEW DELIVERIES (2023-2042)
Regional Jet1,810
Single Aisle32,420

Boeing has published the CMO annually since 1961. As the longest-running jet forecast, the CMO is regarded as the most comprehensive analysis of the commercial aviation industry. Learn more about the Commercial Market Outlook on Boeing will release its complete Pilot and Technician Outlook the week of July 24.

Airbus raises its forecast
Airbus raised its 20-year forecast for new airplane deliveries, but said the global airline fleet will be focussed on replacing older jets. Airbus predicted 40,850 deliveries, up from 39,490 in its previous 20-year forecast issued last year. It lifted its forecast for freighter deliveries to 920 from 890 jets. That implies 39,930 passenger plane deliveries, of which Airbus said 80% would typically be served by single-aisle jets like the Airbus A320neo or Boeing 737 MAX. Airbus also sharply revised up its forecast for the number of old aircraft to be replaced in the coming two decades to 17,170 units from 15,440. Airbus said the global fleet would more than double to 46,560 aircraft in 2042 from a pre-COVID level of 22,880 units at the start of 2020.

News reports also indicate Airbus could win a huge order at the Paris Airshow. Airbus is said to be readying an announcement for a record 500-aircraft agreement with Indian carrier IndiGo on the first day. The proposed order, which would double the airline’s existing backlog, is for A320neo family aircraft, according to people familiar with the negotiations. IndiGo and Airbus are moving to announce the accord as early as Monday, according to a Bloomberg report. Airbus is also working to firm up talks with Saudi carrier Flynas Co. for a large narrowbody order that could become another marquee deal of the event alongside IndiGo, other people said, confirming negotiations previously reported by Bloomberg News. Negotiations for both transactions could still drag out and final number might change, the people cautioned.

Airbus Chief Executive Officer Guillaume Faury said on Friday that the show will demonstrate how the industry is returning “back to the good old times of excitement.” Even before the event, Airbus said it struck deals for 60 A320 family aircraft and 10 A350s from undisclosed customers, setting the pace for what stands to be a few busy days of orders.

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