Boeing forecasts market for 30 900 new commercial aircraft over next 20 years

Aircraft market developments: growth rates. (Source: Boeing CMO.)
Aircraft market developments: growth rates. (Source: Boeing CMO.)

The new Boeing 2010 Current Market Outlook (CMO) forsees a market for 30 900 new commercial passenger and freighter aircraft by 2029.

"The world market is doing much better than last year, but there are still challenges," says Randy Tinseth, vice president of Marketing, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "Looking at 2010, we see a world economy that continues to recover. We expect the world economy to grow above the long-term trend this year. As a result, both passenger and cargo travel will grow this year. Airline revenue and yields are up, but fuel prices remain volatile."

Passenger traffic is expected to grow at 5.3% annual rate over the long-term, driven by economic growth from regions with diverse aircraft needs. The single-aisle aircraft segment will continue to dominate growth worldwide due to the proliferation of low-cost carriers, emerging markets such as India, China and Southeast Asia, and continuing instability of fuel prices. The single-aisle segment has outpaced long-haul markets over the last decade and will continue to trend upward as older fleets are retired.

The Asia-Pacific region shows the most robust market gains, with China leading the way.

"Today, about one-third of all airline traffic touches the Asia-Pacific region, and as a result of the growth in this market, by 2029 almost 43% of all traffic will be to, from, or within the region," says Tinseth.

The airlines of the Asia-Pacific region also will be the largest buyer of twin-aisle aircraft – about 40% of the total demand.

The Middle East, which has been one of the fastest growing regions for air travel in recent years, is another very strong market.

The North American and European markets will see substantial demand for replacement aircraft as they retire ageing, less-efficient jets.

Boeing predicts that airlines will grow by responding to their passengers' preference for more flight choices, lower fares and direct access to a wider range of destinations. Air carriers will focus on offering more flights using more efficient aircraft, rather than on using significantly larger aircraft. As a result, the market for large aircraft (747 and larger) is small at 720 aircraft,  but it remains an important market segment with a value of $220 billion. It is a market largely for replacement of existing airplanes, not additional growth, with 45% of the demand from Asian customers and 23 percent from Middle East customers.

Boeing projects the world freighter fleet to increase from 1750 to 2980 airplanes – an increase of more than two-thirds.