Boeing Forecasts Long-Term Demand for New Planes at $6.1 Trillion

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In a seemingly never-ending stream of announcements of new orders and commitments for its commercial jets, Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) broke the flow with the release of its 20-year long-term forecast for aircraft demand, officially called the Current Market Outlook (CMO). According to Boeing, demand for new airplanes will top 41,000 over the next two decades and the total market value of those planes will reach $6.1 trillion.

This year’s CMO lifts the number of new planes by about 3.5% compared with last year’s forecast for 39,620 new planes, and it raised the dollar value by about 3.4% from $5.9 trillion. Included in the total demand estimate for new planes are 29,530 single-aisle narrow-body planes like the 737 and the Airbus A320 (up from 28,140 last year) and just over 9,000 wide-body, dual-aisle planes like the 787 and the A350, including freighter versions. The wide-body total is roughly equal to last year’s forecast.

Boeing has once again raised its demand forecast for narrow-body planes and reduced it for medium and large wide-bodies. The estimate for medium wide-bodies (between 200 and 300 seats) dropped just 1% to 5,050 over the next 20 years. The forecast for large wide-bodies (more than 300 seats) fell from 3,470 a year ago to 3,160.

Demand from Asia is forecast at 16,050 new planes valued at $2.5 trillion over the next 20 years. Of that total, 11,840 are narrow-bodies with the majority in the seating category of the 787 MAX 8 (about 160 to 200). Asian demand for small wide-bodies like the 787 is forecast at 3,620 for the next two decades.

In a separate announcement, Boeing projected a need for aerospace services at $2.6 trillion over the next 10 years. Over the next 20 years, Boeing projects a total commercial services market worth nearly $8.5 trillion. CEO Dennis Muilenburg has set a target for Boeing of $50 billion in services revenue by 2022. The company’s 2016 services business totaled about $15 billion.

The company breaks down the forecast this way:

  • $4.3 trillion for ground and cargo operations
  • $2.11 trillion for maintenance and engineering
  • $1.14 trillion for flight operations
  • $450 billion for marketing and planning
  • $125 billion for corporate and external support

The Asian market is forecast to account for $3.2 trillion of the $8.5 trillion total services market, with North American demand totaling $1.78 trillion and Europe accounting for $1.77 trillion in demand for services.

Since our report on new orders earlier this morning, Boeing has announced an order for 100 of its new 737 MAX 10s from United Airlines. The agreement converts existing orders from United for 100 unspecified MAX family planes to the 737 MAX 10. The company also announced a commitment for 10 737 MAX 8s from a Japanese leasing firm.

Boeing stock posted a new 52-week high of $201.24 earlier this morning and traded at $200.97 about an hour or so after the opening bell. The stock’s 52-week low is $122.35.