Boeing Cuts 10 Year Aircraft Demand Forecast By 11%

Boeing has reduced its 10-year market outlook for new aircraft as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The aircraft manufacturer believes that the total market value of aerospace products and services over the next 10 years will be 11% lower than its previous estimate.

Boeing, 10 year, aircraft market
Boeing has cut its 10-year aircraft demand forecast. Photo: Boeing

For both Airbus and Boeing, it is important to always be looking to the future. The manufacturers want to react to any approaching trends ahead of time so that they can cater to them. However, this is tricky right now, as nobody knows exactly what tomorrow holds. For example, this time last year, nobody would have thought the current state of the aviation industry would even have been possible.

What has Boeing said?

Today, Boeing revealed its aircraft forecast for the next 10 years from 2020 to 2030. The manufacturer has revised down its numbers, as a result of the current pandemic. Over the coming decade, Boeing currently estimates that 18,350 new commercial aircraft will be needed. This is 11% lower than last year.

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Boeing estimates that these 18,350 new commercial aircraft will be worth a combined $2.9 trillion. Commenting, Darren Hulst, Vice President of Commercial Marketing at Boeing said,

“Commercial aviation is facing historic challenges this year, significantly affecting near- and medium-term demand for airplanes and services. Yet history has also proven air travel to be resilient time and again.”

Boeing, 10 year, aircraft market
Single aisle aircraft are expected to be most in demand. Photo: Boeing

Why has Boeing revised these figures?

Quite frankly, all manufacturers are expecting order books to be down for some time. Airlines have begun to recover from a 90% drop in passenger traffic that was experienced in April. The recovery, though, is expected to be a long, tough climb.

Many airlines have suddenly found themselves with more aircraft than they know what to do with. This has seen Britsh carriers British Airways and Virgin Atlantic both scrap the Boeing 747, while German rival Lufthansa may never fly the A380 again. When airlines already have too many aircraft, it can be hard to justify ordering even more.

What about the next 20 years?

Boeing also looked forward to the next 20 years in its market forecast. The manufacturer reckons that, by 2039, the world’s airline fleet will increase to 48,400 aircraft. For reference, today there are some 25,900 planes in the global fleet. Additionally, the manufacturer believes that Asia will lead some of that increase, accounting for 40% of the world’s fleet compared to 30% today.

Boeing, 10 year, aircraft market
Boeing expects long-haul travel demand to take longer to return. Photo: Boeing

The largest market will be for smaller single-aisle aircraft such as the Boeing 737 MAX and Airbus A320, with 32,270 aircraft needed over the next 20 years. Airbus recently revealed three potential designs for a future hydrogen-powered aircraft that could fit this box.

Meanwhile, only 7,480 new widebodies are anticipated by Boeing, as long-haul travel will take longer to recover from the pandemic. 2,430 regional jets are anticipated, but only 930 cargo aircraft will be needed, an average of 46.5 per year.

What do you make of Boeing’s latest projection? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!