The Boeing 2010 Current Market Outlook foresees a market for 30,900 new commercial passenger and freighter aircraft with a combined list-price value of $3.6...

Nearly 31,000 new commercial aircraft – with a combined list-price value of $3.6 trillion – will be sold over the next 20 years, according to Boeing.

The Boeing 2010 Current Market Outlook (CMO), released on July 15 in London, foresees a market for 30,900 new commercial passenger and freighter aircraft by 2029 as world economies rebound and strong demand for new and replacement aircraft spurs growth.


The report, now in its 46th year of public release, reflects the improving, yet still unstable conditions facing the industry, according to Chicago-headquartered Boeing, the world’s largest aerospace manufacturer by revenues.

“The world market is doing much better than last year, but there are still challenges,” says Randy Tinseth, vice president of marketing for Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “Looking at 2010, we see a world economy that continues to recover. We expect the world economy to grow above the long-term trend this year. As a result, both passenger and cargo travel will grow this year. Airline revenue and yields are up, but fuel prices remain volatile.”

Although Boeing's 2010 Current Market Outlook envisages that only 720 large commercial jets (747-sized and bigger) will be sold over the 20 years to 2029, nevertheless the market is still very valuable, at $220 billion in terms of list prices. Boeing will be active in that market with its new 747-8, sold both in a freighter version and in the stretched-upper-deck 747-8 Intercontinental passenger version, shown in this computer graphic image

Boeing expects passenger traffic to grow at 5.3 per cent annually over the long term, driven by economic growth from regions with diverse aircraft needs. The single-aisle-airliner segment will continue to dominate growth worldwide due to the proliferation of low-cost carriers, emerging markets such as India, China and Southeast Asia, and continuing instability of fuel prices, according to Boeing. The single-aisle segment has outpaced long-haul markets over the last decade and will continue to trend upward as older fleets are retired, it says.

The Asia-Pacific region shows the most robust market gains in Boeing’s 20-year forecast, with China leading the way.

“Today, about one-third of all airline traffic touches the Asia-Pacific region, and as a result of the growth in this market, by 2029 almost 43 per cent of all traffic will be to, from, or within the region,” says Tinseth.

Together, the airlines of the Asia-Pacific region also will be the largest buyers of twin-aisle, widebody aircraft – ordering about 40 per cent of the total demand, says Boeing.

The Middle East, which has been one of the fastest-growing regions for air travel in recent years, represents another very strong market. Airlines in the Middle East have been growing rapidly by taking advantage of geography, demographics, aircraft technology and well-coordinated growth and investment plans, in Boeing’s view.

Meanwhile, the North American and European markets will see substantial demand for replacement aircraft as airlines retire aging less-efficient jets, according to Boeing, adding that robust growth in emerging markets with dynamic populations and growing incomes will lead toward a more balanced demand for aircraft worldwide.

Boeing predicts that airlines will grow by responding to their passengers’ preference for more flight choices, lower fares and direct access to a wider range of destinations. Airlines will focus on offering more flights using more efficient aircraft, rather than on using significantly larger airplanes, it says.

As a result, Boeing believes the market for large commercial jets (747 and larger) will be small, at 720 aircraft. But despite the company forecasting that only small numbers of large aircraft will be sold, Boeing says large aircraft will nevertheless represent an important market segment, with a value of $220 billion. Boeing sees the large-aircraft market as one largely for replacement of existing aircraft, not additional growth, with 45 per cent of the demand forecast to come from Asian customers and 23 per cent from Middle East customers.

Boeing additionally projects that the world freighter fleet will increase from 1,750 to 2,980 aircraft  in the next 20 years – an increase of more than two-thirds. This growth will require 2,490 freighters. Additions to the fleet will include 740 new-production freighters (worth $180 billion at today’s catalog prices) and 1,750 aircraft converted from passenger models.

Large freighters (with more than 88.2 tons/80 tonnes capacity) will account for 520 new-build jets. Medium freighters (with capacities of 44.1 to 88.2 tons/40 to 80 tonnes) will total 210 aircraft, says Boeing. It expects virtually all of the standard-body freighters (49.6 tons/less than 45 tonnes) to come from conversions of passenger aircraft.

The recession resulted in significantly reduced air cargo traffic in 2009, the base year for the Boeing forecast. From this low-traffic base, Boeing forecasts that world air cargo traffic will increase at an annual average of 5.9 per cent through 2029. Included is 2010’s strong cargo traffic growth, which Boeing estimates will reach nearly 14 per cent over full-year 2009 levels – a significant spike in the 20-year growth projection, according to the manufacturer.

“The inclusion of the high-traffic growth levels in 2010, following the recession, is driving our cargo forecast upward,” says Tinseth. “However, the strength of the industry and its growth will continue to be driven by sound fundamentals – speed and reliability, consumer product innovation and global industrial interdependence.”

The report and a feature, which provides an interactive database of forecast numbers, can be found at www.boeing.com/cmo.

A brief video of Randy Tinseth talking about Boeing’s Current Market Outlook can be found at bit.ly/9DXjtc.