Fri 11 July 2008 – Driven by an increasing requirement from airlines to replace older, less efficient aircraft, Boeing forecasts a market for 29,400 new commercial aircraft worth $3.2 trillion over the next two decades. The demand is further driven by Boeing’s estimates of an annual growth in global passenger traffic (RPKs) of 5% and cargo traffic (RTKs) of 5.8% between 2007 and 2027. By 2027, 82% of the fleet will be airplanes that do not exist today.
Presenting its annual Current Market Outlook, Boeing says the number of airplanes in service in 2027 will be around 35,800, an average increase of 3.2% per year over the period, mirroring a projected growth of 3.2% in the GDP of the world economy. Asia-Pacific will take delivery of 9,160 (31%) of the 29,400 new aircraft, the leading region in terms of demand, followed by North America with 8,550 (29%) and Europe with 6,900 (23%).
It expects around 90% of Europe’s current 4,400-strong fleet to be replaced over the next 20 years, retaining just 500 aircraft of those flying today. According to Boeing, the European fleet mix will change as the proportion of regional aircraft falls from 13% today to just 5% in 2027, largely attributed to fuel and environmental pressures.
“We’re seeing an increasing share of airplane deliveries to the Asia-Pacific region, as well as the Middle East, Latin America and the Commonwealth of Independent States,” said Randy Tinseth, Vice President Marketing of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “The result is a much more geographically balanced and more stable long-term market, which is less vulnerable to swings in regional economies or other variations in demand.”
Boeing says airplanes in 2027 will be more productive, with each carrying about 40% more traffic (in RPKs) than the average airplane today, so fewer will be needed to accommodate the same volume of travel. It says the fleet needs to grow by only 3.2% each year although travel will grow at 5.0%. Actual airline passenger numbers will grow at an average 4.0% each year, with markets opening up through reduced regulation and increased competition, particularly in long-haul travel.
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