Boeing has released its latest Current Market Outlook for the next 20 years, and expects the global fleet of commercial aircraft to double over that period.
The US manufacturer is forecasting a need for 34,000 new aircraft, valued at over US$4.5 trillion (A$4.38 trillion).
“The world’s aviation market is broader, deeper and more diverse than we’ve ever seen it,” said Randy Tinseth, vice president of Marketing, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “It has proven to be resilient even during some very challenging years and is driving production rate increases across the board.”
Driving demand will be steady growth in passenger and freight traffic, with passenger numbers expected to grow at a rate of 5.0 per cent and cargo to grow at 5.2 per cent annually over the next two decades. Also driving the need for new aircraft will be the continued growth of low cost carriers, while replacement of older aircraft is expected to account for 41 per cent of new orders.
As with previous forecasts, Boeing is expecting the majority of new deliveries to 2031 to be narrowbodies, with 23,240 single-aisle aircraft worth US$2,030bn (A$1.98bn) to be delivered. It also expects 7,950 twin-aisle aircraft to be delivered, representing a US$2,080bn (A$2.02bn) market, while 790 large aircraft (A380 and 747-8 size) and 2,020 regional jets will be required over the same period.
Boeing says that it expects the new airplane market to become more geographically balanced, although the Asia Pacific region will continue to lead the way with demand for 12,030 new aircraft, followed by Europe (7,760), North America (7,290) Latin America (2,510), Middle East (2,370) the Commonwealth of Independent States (1,140) and Africa (900).
With the air cargo industry remaining sluggish, the airframer has lowered its projections for new cargo aircraft, but still expects the total fleet to nearly double from 1,740 today to 3,200 by 2031. Of those, there will be demand for 940 new build freighters, with 72 per cent of those expected to be large freighters, such as the 747-8F.