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Boeing bumps up forecast for global plane demand
US PLANEMAKER Boeing forecasts that the industry will require some 38,050 new planes valued at US$5.6 trillion over the next 20 years, with the bulk of demand coming from Asia.
This is up 3.5 per cent from its previous forecast of 36,770 jets worth US$5.2 trillion.
"The commercial airplane market continues to be strong and resilient," said Randy Tinseth, vice-president of marketing for Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "As we look forward, we expect the market to continue to grow and the demand for new aircraft to be robust."
However, Boeing also trimmed its forecast slightly for annual airline traffic growth to 4.9 per cent from the historical average of 5 per cent, while air cargo traffic is expected to grow at 4.7 per cent per year.
The planemaker's Current Market Outlook said that the global commercial fleet will roughly double from 21,600 planes in 2014 to 43,560 by 2034 to carry the seven billion or so passengers that will be flying by then. Nearly 60 per cent of the 38,050 new planes will go towards fuelling the growth of expanding airlines, while others will replace ageing aircraft with more fuel-efficient, next-generation ones.
With an expected 14,330 planes slated for the region between now and 2034, Asia-Pacific will account for nearly 40 per cent of the total number of deliveries, as the region's low-cost carriers (LCC) spread their wings.
In terms of aircraft type, overall demand will largely be driven by single-aisle aircraft - such as the Boeing 737-800 and Airbus' A320 aircraft - as LCCs and airlines in developing as well as emerging markets expand. About 26,730 single-aisle planes worth nearly US$2.8 trillion will be needed over the coming two decades, with 35 per cent of deliveries to go to LCCs, according to Boeing. According to reports, rival European planemaker Airbus and Boeing have secured over 6,600 orders for their updated A320neo and 737 Max models.
Mr Tinseth highlighted: "Low-cost carriers will require airplanes that combine the best economics with the most revenue potential."
In the widebody segment, which includes the B787 Dreamliner and the A350, about 8,830 new planes are needed, driven largely by smaller widebody aircraft in the 200-300 seat range as airlines switch from bigger, four-engine planes to more fuel-efficient twin engine products.
In contrast, orders for large widebody aircraft will likely clock just 540. Both Airbus' double-decker A380 and Boeing's 747-8 have been having a tougher time landing new orders in recent years.
Meanwhile, the air cargo market continues to pick up, and will require some 920 new planes between now and 2034. "We"ve seen two years of solid growth in the air cargo market and we expect that growth to continue," added Mr Tinseth.