Boeing: Air travel outpaces economic growth

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With a resurgence in international traffic and domestic air travel back to pre-pandemic levels, Boeing projects global demand at 42,595 new commercial jets by 2042 worth an estimated USD8 trillion.

Boeing released its 2023 Commercial Market Outlook (CMO), the company’s forecast of 20-year demand for commercial aircraft and services, on the eve of the Paris Air Show from 19 to 25 June.

The new CMO comes three years after the pandemic grounded most global fleets.

Key takeaways

  • Passenger traffic continues to outpace global economic growth of 2.6%.
  • The global fleet nearly doubles to 48,600 jets, expanding by 3.5% annually.
  • Airlines are replacing about half of the global fleet with new, more fuel-efficient models.

“The aviation industry has demonstrated resilience and adaptability after unprecedented disruption, with airlines responding to challenges, simplifying their fleets, improving efficiency and capitalising on resurgent demand,” said Boeing senior vice president of Commercial Sales and Marketing Brad McMullen. “Looking to the future of air travel, our 2023 CMO reflects a further evolution of passenger traffic tied to the global growth of the middle class, investments in sustainability, continued growth for low-cost carriers and air cargo demand to serve evolving supply chains and express cargo delivery.”

Regional demand and key trends

Asia-Pacific markets represent more than 40% of global demand, with half of that total in China.

South Asia’s fleet will expand more than 7% annually, the world’s fastest rate, with India accounting for more than 90% of the region’s passenger traffic.

North America and Europe will account for about 20% of global demand.

Low-cost carriers will operate more than 40% of the single-aisle fleet in 2042, up from 10% 20 years ago.

After omitting demand for Russia and Central Asia in last year’s CMO due to uncertainty in the region, this year’s forecast covers Russia and Central Asia in the Eurasia region, which comprises about 3% of the global fleet by 2042.

Commercial Services forecasts a total served market worth USD3.8 trillion, including digital solutions that increase efficiency and reduce cost; robust demand for parts and supply chain solutions; growing maintenance and modification options; and effective training to enhance safety and support the pilot and technician pipeline.

Also, in the 20-year forecast period, Boeing anticipates demand for these models:

New single-aisle aircraft will account for more than 75% of all new deliveries, up slightly from the 2022 outlook and totalling more than 32,000 aircraft.

New widebody jets will be nearly 20% of deliveries, with more than 7,400 aircraft enabling airlines to open new markets and serve existing routes more efficiently.