Boeing report suggests buoyant commercial market

Boeing has released its 2002 Current Market Outlook, which forecasts a $4.9 trillion market for new commercial aeroplanes and aviation services over the next 20 years.

Boeing released its 2002 Current Market Outlook (CMO) at the Farnborough Air Show this week, noting a forecast of a $4.9 trillion market for new commercial aeroplanes and aviation services over the next 20 years.

‘The shift from a regulated to liberalised market has increased competition among airlines and is forcing them to operate at much higher levels of efficiency to remain profitable,’ said Randy Baseler, Boeing Commercial Aeroplanes vice president – Marketing.

‘And passenger preference for more frequent, non-stop flights with shorter trip times, will continue to drive market evolution and airline strategies. Afterall, air travel is all about passenger convenience and saving time,’ he added.

Boeing estimates the world fleet will double to almost 33,000 jets by 2021, a figure that includes a little more than 17,200 new aeroplanes and 6,700 replacement aeroplanes.

The mix of current and new aeroplanes is expected accommodate a forecast of 4.9 percent growth in world air travel, plus 6.4 percent growth in the cargo segment. Regional growth varies between 3.5 and 7.9 percent, with Latin America expected to be the fastest growing market.

Boeing projects airlines will invest $1.8 trillion in new commercial aeroplanes, which equates to about 24,000 aeroplane deliveries over the next 20 years. Of that total:

<ul><li>18 percent (or 4,240 deliveries) will be for smaller regional jets (below 90 seats) </li><li>57 percent (or 13,765 deliveries) will be for larger regional jets and single-aisle aeroplanes</li><li>21 percent (or 4,980 deliveries) will be for intermediate-size aeroplanes</li><li>4 percent (or about 945 deliveries) will be for 747 and larger size aeroplanes</li></ul>

In the freighter market, Boeing anticipates that more than 2,500 cargo aeroplanes will be added to the freighter fleet over the next 20 years, of which more than 70 percent will be modified passenger and ‘combi’ aeroplanes. The value of new freighters is estimated at $116 billion in current US dollars.

‘We see market fragmentation – or ‘point-to-point’ operations – continuing worldwide, which means airlines will rely more and more on smaller aeroplanes to meet passenger demand for safe, reliable service; non-stop flights when and to where they want to go; and low fares in comfortable surroundings,’ Baseler said.

Baseler pointed out that in 1984, only TWA operated one flight per day from Chicago to London, flying a 747. According to the August 2001 Official Airline Guide (OAG), United Airlines and American Airlines are operating 22 daily non-stop flights from Chicago to 11 cities in Europe using a mix of 767 and 777 aeroplanes.

He added that the industry is seeing similar change on Pacific, where the 777 is fragmenting trans-Pacific routes. Liberalisation and the 777 are fragmenting the North Pacific, just as the 767 did on the North Atlantic.

In August 2001, there were four Asian airlines and three US airlines operating an average of 32 daily flights on the North Pacific with 777s. Some additional routes added since the August 2002 OAG include All Nippon Airways’ flights between Tokyo and Washington DC, and Korean Air flights between Seoul and Atlanta.

The 2002 forecast does not specifically include the Sonic Cruiser.

‘We expect the Sonic Cruiser will accelerate fragmentation and segmentation through speed, which combined with the aeroplane’s range, will help our customers compete even more effectively in medium- to long-range markets,’ Baseler said. ‘We are currently working with our customers to understand the value of speed.’