Boeing Forecasts $1.9 Trillion Asian Airplane Market

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Over the next 20 years, the market for new airplanes in the Asia Pacific region will grow to $1.9 trillion, according to Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA). The forecast was made Sunday, two days before the official opening of the Singapore Airshow.

Boeing estimates that Asia Pacific airlines will require 12,280 new planes over the next 20 years, 36% of all global deliveries. The company estimates that the Asia Pacific fleet will nearly triple, from 5,090 airplanes in 2012 to 14,750 airplanes in 2032, to support increased demand. Nearly half of global air traffic will be driven by travel to, from or within the region.

Last September, Boeing rival Airbus released its Global Market Forecast covering the next 20 years. According to Airbus, by 2032 the current worldwide airplane fleet of 17,740 planes will nearly double to 36,560 aircraft, and the dollar value of the new planes is expected to exceed $4 trillion. Airbus also believes that 36% of deliveries in the next 20 years will go to airlines in the Asia Pacific region.

Boeing sees demand rising primarily for single-aisle planes like its 737 and 737 MAX families and the Airbus A320. Single-aisle planes will account for 69% of sales Boeing predicts. In its September forecast, Airbus also predicted that 69% of new planes delivered in the region would be single aisle planes. A Boeing executive said:

New low-cost carriers and demand for intra-Asia travel have fueled the substantial increase in single-aisle airplanes. Fuel-efficient airplanes like the Next-Generation 737 and 737 MAX help the growing number of low-cost carriers operate more efficiently and provide affordable fares to the emerging middle class.

Demand for twin-aisle (widebody) aircraft better suited for long-distance international travel will account for 28% of all new deliveries to the Asia Pacific region. For Boeing that includes its 747-8 Intercontinental, the 777 and the 787 Dreamliner. Airbus forecast that widebody craft would account for 31% of units, but 59% of value.

Boeing stock was inactive early Monday morning, having closed at $127.02 on Friday in a 52-week range of $74.27 to $144.57.

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