EVERETT, Wash. – Boeing’s 20-year outlook for the airplane market is as sunny as ever, even though some analysts worry about a shift from more profitable wide-body jets to smaller, more economical single-aisle jets.
The way Boeing sees it, a steady rise in commercial air traffic and the start of a new replacement cycle in the 2021-2023 time frame will take care of any glut in the wide-body market. And between now and then, a hefty backlog of orders should bridge the gap, according to Randy Tinseth, vice president of marketing for Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
Tinseth accentuated the positive in Boeing’s latest Current Market Outlook, a 20-year forecast that was released today in connection with the Paris Air Show. He previewed the forecast for reporters earlier this month at Boeing’s Everett plant, on the condition that the information was held back until the show.
This year’s outlook foresees steady upturns for several key indicators, ranging from gross domestic product (up 2.8 percent per year on average) to passenger traffic (up 4.7 percent).
Over the 20 years to come, Boeing expects the airline industry to require 41,030 new airplanes, valued at $6.1 trillion. The Middle East and Asia, and particularly China, are expected to lead the way. This year’s figure represents an uptick from last year’s estimate of 39,620 new airplanes for 2016-2035.
Tinseth acknowledged that the recent growth in the single-aisle market “truly exceeded our expectations,” and he saw that trend as continuing in the decades ahead.
“There’s no question, the single-aisles create the backbone of the aviation market, not only today but moving forward,” Tinseth said.
Like other analysts, Tinseth expects sales of Boeing 747 passenger jets to fade out – although cargo freighters, VIP jets and the Air Force One deal will keep…