US aerospace giant Boeing has forecast a commercial aircraft market worth $3.2-trillion over the next ten years. In concrete terms, this would amount to 19 000 aircraft. As for demand over the next 20 years, the group estimates that this would amount to more than 43 000 new aeroplanes, with a total value of $7.2-trillion.
Recovery in the air transport market is currently being led by domestic flights, it reported. Regional and intercontinental flights are expected to follow, as vaccine rollouts lead to relaxations in health-based travel restrictions. Boeing expects long-range commercial air traffic to reach pre-pandemic (2019) levels by 2023 or 2024.
“The aerospace industry has made important progress in the recovery, and Boeing’s 2021 forecast reflects our confidence in the resilience of the market,” affirmed Boeing Commercial Airplanes president and CEO 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.”
Boeing expects, as it did last year, air passenger traffic to grow at an annual average rate of 4%. Those countries with large proportions of their populations vaccinated have already experienced rapid recoveries in air travel, because of the concomitant easing of domestic and international travel restrictions by their governments.
By 2040, the group expects the total number of commercial aircraft in service to come to more than 49 000. The Asia-Pacific, China, Europe and North America will each account for about 20% of these, with the remaining 20% spread across other regions. Demand for new single-aisle airliners will come to more than 32 500 (or more than 75% of all airliners). New widebody airliner deliveries over the next 20 years should exceed 7 500. Regional airliners (defined as having 90 or fewer seats) should add another 2 390 aircraft to the total, while widebody freighter deliveries should total 890.
These new aircraft will need people to maintain them, fly them and take care of their passengers. Boeing predicts that more than 2.1-million air and ground crew will be required over the next 20 years. They will be composed of 612 000 pilots, 626 000 maintenance personnel and 886 000 cabin crew.