20-year outlook projects rising demand for 42,700 plus aircraft, valued at $6.3 trillion

Rising passenger traffic and upcoming aircraft retirements will drive the need for 42,730 new jets – valued at $6.3 trillion – over the next 20 years. 

The global aircraft fleet will also sustain growing demand for commercial aviation services, leading to a total market opportunity of $15 trillion. Boeing’s annual forecast, renamed the Commercial Market Outlook (CMO) including detailed analysis of the dynamic aviation services market, was presented today at the Farnborough International Airshow.

The 2018 CMO is recognised as an industry benchmark for global air travel forecasting. It projects the total number of aircraft increasing by 4.1 per cent over the previous forecast.

Growth in every world region

Randy Tinseth, vice president of Commercial Marketing for The Boeing Company, said: “For the first time in years, we are seeing economies growing in every region of the world. This synchronised growth is providing more stimulus for global air travel. We are seeing strong traffic trends not only in the emerging markets of China and India, but also the mature markets of Europe and North America.”

He added: “Along with continued traffic expansion, the data show a big retirement wave approaching as older airplanes age out of the global fleet.”

According to fleet data, there are more than 900 aircraft today which are more than 25 years old. By the mid 2020s, more than 500 aircraft per year will reach 25 years of age – double the current rate – fuelling the retirement wave. Tinseth said the data explains why 44 per cent of new aircraft will be needed to cover replacement alone, while the rest will support future growth.

Global fleet to double in size by 2037

Including aircraft that will be retained, the global fleet is projected to essentially double in size to 48,540 by 2037. The single-aisle segment will see the most growth over the forecast period, with a demand for 31,360 new aircraft, an increase of 6.1 per cent over last year. This $3.5 trillion market is driven in large part by the continued growth of low-cost carriers, strong demand in emerging markets, and increasing replacement demand in markets such as China and Southeast Asia.

The widebody segment calls for 8,070 new aircraft valued at nearly $2.5 trillion over the next twenty years. Widebody demand is spearheaded, in part, by a large wave of replacements beginning early in the next decade and airlines deploying advanced jets such as the 787 Dreamliner and 777X to expand their global networks.

Additionally, Boeing projects the need for 980 new production widebody freighters over the forecast period, up 60 airplanes over last year. In addition, operators are forecasted to buy 1,670 converted freighters.

The full report can be found at www.boeing.com/cmo.

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