Aerospace Giant Boeing Adjusts 20-year Outlook For Commercial Airplanes

Boeing 6 photos
Photo: Reuters
On the eve of the biggest airshow in the aviation industry, the Chicago-based aerospace comapany has pared down its forecast for global commercial aircraft demand from 43,610 to 41,170 units, which represents a decrease of 6%.
The new number does not include an estimated 1,540 aircraft needed by Russian carriers. Manufacturers are not permitted to sell aircraft to Russian entities based on the ongoing aggression the country has leveled on Ukraine.

Shorter term, 10-year demand inched up to 19,575 units; a projection that also excludes Russia. Single engine aircraft are expected to make up 75% of the demand, with over half being replacement aircraft and not fleet additions. Wide-body aircraft demand is just 17% of the total, numbering 7230.

"That's a function of a depressed environment in 2021 falling off and a new trend year in 2031 being added," Darren Hulst, Boeing vice president for commercial marketing, told reporers in a briefing ahead of the Sunday release. "It comes very close to our 2019" outlook if Russia was included.

The new forecast still almost doubles the global airline fleet in the next twenty years as airlines welcome an increase in travel demand as the world emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic that all but grounded global air travel.

Boeing projects that global freighter fleets will grow by 80% over the next two decades. The company believes air cargo business has benefitted from e-commerce networks shift from air to sea. Although air cargo still accounts for only 1% of global trade.

Boeing has been grappling with the same supply shortages that other manufacturers have had to endure. In addition, the compnay is plagued by manufacturing problems with their flagship 787 Dreamliner, 737 MAX certification, and delays in the introduction of the highly anticipated 777X. Competition from Airbus SE, the multinational European aerospace company is also a concern for the over 100-year old company.  The introduction of the Airbus NEO is viewed as significant threat to Boeing's dominance of single-aisle airplane sales.
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