Boeing says demand for new aircraft will grow over the next two decades

Two workers walk under the wing of a 737 Max aircraft at Boeing’s plant in Renton, Washington, on March 27, 2019.

Lindsey Wasson | Reuters

Despite the Covid pandemic that swept two years of growth for the commercial aircraft market, Boeing predicts that industry demand will inflate over the next 20 years.

The company’s annual market outlook predicts that the global fleet of commercial aircraft will scale from 25,900 in 2019 to 49,405 aircraft by 2040, with nearly 90 percent of those aircraft being new models entering service for the period.

In addition, Boeing has projected the global aerospace industry, including defense and services, to reach $ 9 trillion over the next decade. That’s $ 500 billion from the same forecast last year. It is also the largest amount the company has ever projected for the industry for a period of 10 years.

“It’s a pretty promising sight and tells us it’s time to start preparing for growth,” said Marc Allen, Boeing’s head of strategy.

Leading everything will be a planned recovery in air travel, particularly on international routes that have been devastated by the pandemic. International travel has dropped by 74% since 2019, while domestic travel has dropped by only 16%. In late 2023 or early 2024, Boeing predicts that global travel will return to 2019 levels.

“The industry has had essentially two years of pandemic-driven growth,” said Darren Hulst, vice president of commercial marketing for Boeing.

In its annual global market outlook published in 2019, long before the pandemic, Airbus had predicted that the world would need 47,680 jets by 2038.

The recovery that began last year with Boeing and Airbus transmitting 723 aircraft has picked up momentum but has stabilized, with airlines scheduled to deliver nearly 900 Boeing and Airbus by 2021. By the end of the decade, the industry is expected to deliver more than 19,000 new aircraft, with most of those flying to a fleet such as the Airbus A320 and the Boeing 737 Max.

“We normally see about 15% of the fleet retire every five years,” Allen said. “After the September 11 crisis, after the global financial crisis we saw these numbers rise and reach the 20% mark. What we are seeing now in the behavior of the airlines is that those pensions for five years they will be 20% to 25% of the total fleet ”.

Boeing’s prospect comes when the company steadily grows deliveries of 737 Max aircraft after a year and a half of landing by regulators around the world. The company resumed deliveries in November, but has productively expanded production since it landed more than 400 Max aircraft that were built but never delivered when the plane was landed. The last of the newly completed Max plans is scheduled for the end of next year.

As the demand for new business plans is expected to grow steadily over the next two decades, the same can be said for cargo plans. Growth is driven by the growing demand for goods from around the world. In 2019, just over 1,000 cargo planes were in service worldwide. It is expected to jump 70% by 2040, when it is expected that about 3,500 cargo planes will be in service.

Allen said Boeing has already begun to respond to the demand for more cargo planes by preparing to expand eight conversion lines where old passenger planes are transformed into cargo carriers. “By 2022, we expect to grow more than 60% to 13 conversion lines worldwide,” Allen said.

CNBC’s Meghan Reeder contributed to this article.

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