Boeing bumps up its 20-year forecast for airplane demand to over 41,000 planes valued at $6.1 trillion

Rebecca Smith
Boeing said passenger traffic had been very strong this year
Boeing said passenger traffic had been very strong this year (Source: Getty)

American aerospace giant Boeing has raised its forecast for new airplane demand.

It projected the need for 41,030 new planes over the next 20 years, valued at $6.1 trillion in the firm's annual current market outlook, released at the Paris Air Show. Boeing sees total airplane demand rising 3.6 per cent over last year's prediction.

Read more: Boeing launches 737 Max 10 in bid to unseat Airbus' A321neo

"Passenger traffic has been very strong so far this year, and we expect to see it grow 4.7 per cent each year over the next two decades," said Randy Tinseth, vice president of marketing, Boeing commercial airplanes. "The market is especially hungry for single-aisle airplanes as more people start travelling by air."

Air travel has been flying, boosted by emerging economies, and IATA has forecast China to replace North America as the world's largest aviation market around 2024. However, China's growth is slowing somewhat, and Boeing pulled back its 20-year forecast for average global traffic growth to 4.7 per cent from 4.8 per cent.

Boeing also sounded a damper prediction for the very large aircraft segment of the passenger jet business, signalling it thinks the Airbus A380's legacy could soon draw to a close, as well as its own 747. It noted that more airlines were shifting to small and medium/large widebody planes like the 787 and 77X, saying the "primary demand for very large airplanes going forward will be in the cargo market".

Boeing's forecast also pegged the single-aisle segment as the one that will experience the most growth over the period, propelled by low-cost airlines and emerging markets. It said 29,530 new planes will be needed here; an increase of nearly five per cent on last year.

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