Aerospace & Defense

Boeing Boosts 10-Year Airplane Market Forecast to $9 Trillion

Boeing Co. (NYSE: BA) on Tuesday released its annual forecast on the aircraft market for the next 10 years. The market outlook for the next decade totals $9.0 trillion: $3.2 trillion for commercial aircraft; $3.2 trillion in services, business and general aviation; and $2.6 trillion in the defense and space market.

In last year’s outlook, Boeing forecast a total addressable market of $8.5 trillion, a drop of about 2.3% from its 2019 forecast of $8.7 trillion. The 2021 forecast reflects “signs of the industry’s recovery following the impacts of COVID-19.” Boeing’s chief strategy officer, Marc Allen, said:

As our industry recovers and continues to adapt to meet new global needs, we remain confident in long-term growth for aerospace. We are encouraged by the fact that scientists have delivered vaccines more rapidly than imaginable and that passengers are demonstrating strong confidence in airplane travel.

Boeing simultaneously issued its 20-year commercial market outlook projecting global demand for 43,610 new aircraft. That’s up by 500 from last year’s outlook. The following table compares last year’s forecast to the new forecast by airplane type. Regional jets seat 90 or fewer passengers, while single-aisle planes like Boeing’s 737 and Airbus’s A320 families seat 90 or more.

Airplane Type 2020 Projection 2021 Projection
Regional jets 2,430 2,390
Single-aisle 32,270 32,660
Wide-body 7,480 7,670
Freighter 930 890
Total 43,110 43,610

Asia-Pacific, not including China, accounts for more than 40% of the projected 20-year demand. Boeing projects a total of 17,645 deliveries in the region between 2021 and 2040.

North America is projected to take delivery of 9,160 new airplanes over the next 20 years, about 21% of the global total.

European carriers are expected to account for 8,705 deliveries in the 20-year period, about 20% of the global total.

China accounts for 8,700 new airplanes over the period, nearly 20% of the global total. At least some of China’s demand will be fulfilled by Comac, China’s commercial planemaker founded in 2008 and now controlled by China’s military. Comac’s first mass-production aircraft, the single-aisle C919, will roll off the assembly line before the end of the year. A larger twin-aisle plane, the C929, is being developed by a joint venture with Russia’s UAC and currently is expected to begin deliveries sometime between 2025 and 2028.

Globally, Boeing expects air traffic to increase by 4% during the forecast period and the global commercial fleet to grow by 3.1%.