Surging growth in the Asian Pacific market buoys Boeing's forecast of $3.6 trillion in new aircraft sales over the next 20 years, with 30,900 new commercial passenger and freighter airplanes expected to be bought by 2029.
Boeing said it foresees passenger traffic growing 5.3% a year over the long term, and the single-aisle airplane segment, which has outpaced long-haul markets over the past 10 years, is expected to continue to dominate worldwide growth worldwide due to the retirement of older fleets, proliferation of low-cost carriers, emerging markets including India, China and Southeast Asia, and volatile fuel prices.
"The world market is doing much better than last year, but there are still challenges," Boeing's marketing vice president, Randy Tinseth, said.
Boeing identified Asia-Pacific as the region showing the healthiest market growth, and said that region's airlines are expected to be the largest buyer of twin-aisle airplanes, roughly 40 percent of total demand.
"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 percent of all traffic will be to, from, or within the region," Tinseth said.
It called the Middle East as another "very strong market," and said that North American and European markets will see "substantial demand for replacement airplanes," as they retire the less-efficient, older aircraft from their fleets.
Boeing said it 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. Air carriers will focus on offering more flights using more efficient airplanes, rather than on using significantly larger airplanes. As a result, the market for large airplanes (747 and larger) is small at 720 airplanes. But it remains an important market segment with a value of $220b. It is a market largely for replacement of existing airplanes, not additional growth, with 45 percent of the demand from Asian customers and 23% from Middle East customers."