Aviation in crisis? Boeing’s optimistic CMO

Boeing forecasts demand for 19,000 commercial planes valued at $3.2 trillion over the next decade. President and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes: “We remain realistic about ongoing challenges.”

Boeing’s new Commercial Market Outlook (CMO) projects 10-year global demand for 19,000 commercial airplanes valued at $3.2 trillion, while the 20-year commercial forecast projects demand for more than 43,500 new airplanes valued at $7.2 trillion.

Boeing’s CMO reflects the very same global market recovery the company projected in 2020. Leading the way is the pent-up demand for domestic air travel, with long-haul travel expected to return to pre-pandemic levels by 2023 to 2024.

One significant area of growth is that of dedicated freighters. With the ever-expanding e-commerce and air freight’s speed and reliability, the CMO projects that by 2040, the global cargo fleet will be 70% larger than the pre-pandemic fleet.

“The aerospace industry has made important progress in the recovery, and Boeing’s 2021 forecast reflects our confidence in the resilience of the market,” according to President and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes Stan Deal. “While we remain realistic about ongoing challenges, the past year has shown that passenger traffic rebounds swiftly when the flying public and governments have confidence in health and safety during air travel. Our industry continues to serve an essential role of bringing people together and transporting critical supplies.”

The new 20-year CMO includes these highlights:

Availability and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines will continue to be critical to the near-term recovery of passenger air travel, as countries with higher vaccination rates have shown rapid air travel recovery.

Passenger traffic is expected to grow at an average rate of 4% each year, similar to last year’s forecast. As a result, the global commercial fleet will surpass 49,000 airplanes by 2040. China, Europe, North America, and Asia-Pacific countries account for about 20% of new plane deliveries, and the rest will go to other emerging markets.

Demand for more than 32,500 new narrow-body planes is almost the same as the pre-pandemic outlook. However, carriers will need more than 7,500 new wide-body planes by 2040 to keep up with the long-term passenger and cargo demand growth in longer-haul markets. These figures are slightly better than the 2020 forecast but remain down 8% compared to 2019.

In the service department, Boeing forecasts a $3.2 trillion market opportunity for its services. Digital solutions, interiors modifications, and freighter conversions have proven to be on the rise as customers adjust to leaner operations and much stronger cargo demand.

“Our customers are preparing for growth, and we see fleet modifications and continued parts consumption going hand in hand with the global fleet expansion,” commented Ted Colbert, President, and CEO of Boeing Global Services. “This demand will be coupled with the continued adoption of digital tools and services to enhance fleet readiness, reliability, and efficiency.”


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