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Boeing: Global Airplane Market To Hit Sales Of 34,000 Jets In 20 Years

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(Photo: Stock.xchng)
(Photo: Stock.xchng)


  • Company raises global forecast by 1.5% through 2031; sales to reach 34,000 units for $4.5 trillion
  • Asia to see strongest growth with demand for over 12,000 planes
  • Global air traffic to rise at 5% per year

US airplane maker Boeing has raised its 20-year forecast for the global airplane market by 1.5%, predicting sales of 34,000 jets for a total of $4.5 trillion as air travel increases throughout the world’s emerging economies.

Boeing’s latest estimate is almost double the current size of the global fleet, which counts almost 20,000 planes. Last year, the company had projected sales of 33,500 over the next two decades – an increase of 8.5% on earlier predictions.

Asia-Pacific will be the biggest center of growth with the expanding Chinese and Indian markets expected to boost demand in the region to over 12,000 planes.

In a statement, Boeing said: "Robust growth in China, India and other emerging markets is a major factor in the increased deliveries over the next 20 years."

The European market will create the next largest demand with 7,760 aircraft, followed by North America at 7,290.

The Chicago-based company says air traffic was set to grow at a rate of 5% per year through 2031, with low-cost carriers stimulating the market, particularly in Asia.

Upgrading Fleets

Around 41% of sales will come from airlines looking to replace older, less fuel-efficient planes.

The market for single-aisle passenger jets is expected to reach 23,240 over the next two decades. The segment includes Boeing’s 737 and the A320 from rival Airbus, and is expected to create $2.03 trillion in sales.

Demand for twin-aisle planes, such as Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner, is forecast to jump to nearly 8,000 units, worth $2.08 trillion. New orders for large aircraft like the Boeing 747 and the Airbus A380 will top 790 units for a value of $280 billion.

Boeing dropped its forecast for global freighter planes for the 20-year period, due to slow growth in the market, predicting figures of 3,200 freighter planes by 2031, compared to earlier forecasts of 3,500 by 2030. It expects demand for 940 new cargo aircraft, as companies convert some 1,820 passenger planes to freighters.

Key Statistics - Aviation in China

  • The annual output of civil aeroengines in China remains low, with 2009 delivery figures reaching a value of RMB 9.1 million. 2011 figures are expected to reach RMB 12 million. (source: Research in China
  • Sichuan Haite High-Tech is China’s only publicly listed airplane maintenance company. Its aeroengine maintenance arm maintains a gross profit margin of 44-55%. (source: Research in China)
  • China’s air traffic market is forecast to grow at an annual rate of 9%. (source: Netscribes)
  • China’s civil aviation fleet is predicted to grow at a rate of 14% per annum. (source: Netscribes)

By James Mulholland for
James Mulholland is a Paris-based internet and broadcast journalist specializing in sports, current affairs and technology news, while also freelancing as a photographer.

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