Aeroplane Manufacturer Boeing expects its commercial aircraft fleet to double over the next 20 years, according to estimates published on Sunday that are slightly higher in volume than those of its rival Airbus.
For the American aircraft manufacturer, nearly 48,600 jets will be in service by 2042, compared with 24,500 last year, thus expanding 3.5% per year.
This will require the production of 48,600 aircraft by all manufacturers, half of which will be devoted to replacing existing aircraft with “new, more fuel-efficient models,” Boeing Airplanes tweeted on Saturday.
North America will receive 23% of these new aircraft, Asia-Pacific 22%, Eurasia 21% and China 20%.
These projections are in line with those made by Boeing last year, when the company predicted a worldwide fleet of 47,080 aircraft in 2041.
On Wednesday, Airbus forecast a need for 40,850 new passenger and cargo aircrafts by 2042, taking the world fleet to 46,560 aircraft, compared with 22,880 at the start of 2020.
Darren Hulst, Boeing’s Vice-President of Commercial Marketing, said that after the Covid-19 hiatus that affected demand, “we are moving from the recovery period to a return to the fundamentals that have underpinned air travel” for the past 60 years.
“The aviation industry has demonstrated resilience and adaptability after unprecedented disruption, with airlines responding to challenges, simplifying their fleets, improving efficiency and capitalizing on resurgent demand,” said Brad McMullen, Boeing senior vice-president of Commercial Sales and Marketing.
Hulst spoke of the link between the propensity to travel and global Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth, which he expects to reach 2.6% per year, or 70% over two decades, with 500 million middle class people likely to travel by air.
Boeing also believes that low-cost airlines will continue to grow over the next 20 years and “more than double in size,” although at a slower pace than in the past 20 years, when their fleets increased sixfold.
Demand for cargo aircraft is also set to remain strong, at around 3.5% a year, outpacing the global trade growth, estimated by Boeing at 3% a year over 20 years.
“Looking to the future of air travel, our 2023 CMO [Commercial Market Outlook] reflects further evolution of passenger traffic tied to global growth of the middle class, investments in sustainability, continued growth for low-cost carriers, and air cargo demand to serve evolving supply chains and express cargo delivery,” added McMullen.
The new deliveries Boeing intends to provide in the 20-year forecast period are represented in 1,810 regional jets, 32,420 single aisle aircrafts, 7,440 wide-body aircrafts, and 925 freighters.