Boeing expects to sell fewer planes over the next decade
Boeing expects demand for commercial airplanes over the next decade to be 11 percent lower than what it was forecasting just a little over a year ago — a direct result of the economic shock from the coronavirus pandemic.
- Yes, but: Long-term growth rates should return after 2030, the company said Tuesday.
Why it matters: The pandemic upended what had been a long, steady ascent for the global aviation industry, with U.S. domestic passenger traffic down 70 percent and by as much as 90 percent internationally.
By the numbers: Boeing's annual forecast, published since 1961, is considered one of the most accurate forecasts in the aviation industry.
- The company estimates the total market for planes, products and services will be $8.5 trillion over the next decade, down from the $8.7 trillion forecast a year ago.
- It projects demand for 18,350 commercial airplanes in the next decade — 11% lower than the comparable 2019 forecast — worth about $2.9 trillion. Many of them will be replacements for existing planes.
- Demand for defense and space aircraft remains strong, a market worth $2.6 trillion, with 40 percent outside the U.S.
Longer term, the trends look more stable, Boeing said:
- Over the next 20 years, passenger traffic growth is projected to increase by an average of 4% per year.
- The global commercial fleet is expected to reach 48,400 by 2039, up from 25,900 airplanes today.
- Asia-based airlines will continue to expand their share of the world’s fleet, to nearly 40%, from about 30% today.
There's also some good news on the jobs front. Despite massive furloughs during the pandemic, demand for pilots and technicians remains strong.
- Boeing estimates the industry will need 2.4 million aviation personnel worldwide between now and 2039.
The bottom line, says Boeing's chief strategy officer, Marc Allen:
- “While this year has been unprecedented in terms of its disruption to our industry, we believe that aerospace and defense will overcome these near-term challenges, return to stability and emerge with strength."