Boeing forecasts a demand for 36,770 new airplanes during the next 20 years, an increase of 4.2%, in its Current Market Outlook. The value of this demand, which covers the entire commercial aviation line from regional jets and up, is $5.2 trillion.
The company released its annual forecast today, for the period ending 2033.
As with previous forecasts, the single-aisle demand constitutes the vast majority, with a requirement for 25,680 airplanes to cover retirement and growth, the latter being driven by the proliferation of the low cost carriers worldwide. The “heart of the market” for the single aisles has moved up to 160 seats, says Randy Tinseth, VP Marketing. This is the 737-800/8 and A320ceo/neo-sized airplane. The Comac C919 and Irkut MC-21 will join this sector when they enter service later this decade.
Boeing predicts that there will be a need for 8,600 twin-aisle aircraft, dominated by the 200-300 seat sector which includes the 787-8/9, the Airbus A330 and the Airbus A350-800. The 787-10, 777 Series, 777-8 and A350-900/1000 fall within the 301-365 seat sector. The 777-9, A380 and 747-8 are Very Large Aircraft of 400+ seats.
Boeing lowered its forecast for the VLA or Large Widebody sector from last year’s 740. Of the 620, Boeing sees 200 VLA Freighters, leaving 420 VLA Passenger aircraft in the forecast. Tinseth said that although the 777-9 nominally seats 407 in three classes, Boeing considers this a medium widebody airplane for purposes of its forecast.
We asked how many of the VLAPs Boeing forecasts as being filled by the 747-8I. He declined, but separately said Boeing sees a freighter market recovery requiring a new-build of 777Fs and 747-8Fs of 2-3 per month. He previously told us he sees this split evenly between the two aircraft type. The math indicates, then, that Boeing sees a potential market for 12-18 747-8Fs per year. The current production rate is 18/yr, and Boeing hopes to eventually increase the rate from 1.5/mo to 1.75/mo. Clearly, without specifically saying so, Boeing doesn’t expect many sales of the 747-8I during the next 20 years.
(Airbus continues to forecast a 20 year sales of ~1,300 VLAPs, a forecast few outside Airbus takes seriously. The current A380 production rate of 3/mo mathematically computes to 720 A380s built during the next 20 years, a figure most observers also doubt.)
Tinseth said that 40% of the single-aisle airplanes are now being delivered to low cost carriers world wide. Forty two percent of the 20-year demand for aircraft will be replacements, he says.
Boeing forecasts that China’s domestic market will surpass the US domestic market in the second half of the forecast. China currently represents 40% of the total Asia-Pacific demand.