Boeing plots Asia-Pacific recovery needing 17,645 jets over 20 years

November 09, 2021
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US aerospace giant Boeing is maintaining the faith when it comes to the Asia-Pacific with an estimate the region will need 17,645 new aircraft over the next two decades with a  market value of US$3.1 trillion.

This is slightly higher than the company’s 2019 forecast that the Asia-Pacific would need 17,000 planes over 20 years.

Add to this an aftermarket services market worth $US3.7 trillion and the new forecast predicts Asia-Pacific’s total aviation market value over the two decades will be $US6.8 trillion as it grows to account for almost half of global traffic by 2040.

READ: US officials attack Chinese government over aerospace spy case.

The company notes in its 2021 Commercial Market Outlook (CMO) that the Asia-Pacific region has diverse air travel markets, including mature economies in Northeast Asia and Oceania as well as rapidly growing aviation markets in China, South Asia and Southeast Asia.

It argues the travel recovery enabled by rising COVID-19 vaccination will leave Asia-Pacific carriers well-positioned to capitalize on recovering business and leisure travel as well as air cargo.

“We have seen strong resilience in Asia Pacific traffic when restrictions are lifted and passengers feel confident about travel,” said Boeing vice president commercial marketing Darren Hulst. “Carriers with efficient and versatile fleets will be positioned to meet passenger needs and air freight demand with airplanes that reduce fuel use, emissions and operating costs.”

The CMO will be welcome news for South-East Asian airlines only just starting to see the reopening of international borders and still suffering big cuts in capacity and passenger traffic.

A regional breakdown predicts Southeast Asian countries will see rapid economic growth over the next two decades matched by fleet growth and passenger traffic well above global averages.

This scenario sees low-cost carriers expanding intra-regional networks with single-aisle jets, while open skies and trade agreements will enable carriers to invest in fuel-efficient widebodies to serve long-haul routes.

Boeing forecasts Southeast Asia will need 4,465 new planes valued at $US765 billion and commercial aviation services valued at $US790 billion by 2040.

“In Northeast Asia, mature economies will continue to support a balanced air travel market across domestic, regional and long-haul travel segments,’’ the report says “ Fleet replacement will account for nearly 75 percent of new deliveries as airlines look to improve sustainability and fleet versatility.

“The region is expected to need 1,385 new airplanes valued at $310 billion as well as services valued at $555 billion in the next 20 years.”

Oceania — which includes Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific islands — will see domestic and regional travel accounting for 80% of passenger traffic This will drive single-aisle demand as widebody jets support long-haul and international network development.

“Oceania is projected to need 785 new jets valued at $135 billion and services valued at $US165 billion by the end of the forecast period,” the CMO says.

A previously released China forecast shows emerging superpower will require 8700 new aircraft by 2040 valued at $US1.47 trillion.

A breakdown of aircraft types shows single-aisle jets will account for almost 13,500 deliveries across the region, or about three-quarters of demand in terms of units. Widebody jets,  including passenger and cargo models, will total nearly 3,800 aircraft.

The cargo fleet is tipped to more than triple to 1,160 aircraft, including new and converted models, to support diversifying global supply chains and meet e-commerce demand. The Asia Pacific cargo fleet is expected to roughly equal North America’s cargo fleet by 2040.

Boeing’s 2021 Pilot and Technician Outlook (PTO) forecasts that the region will require nearly 820,000 new aviation personnel, including more than 230,000 pilots and nearly 250,000 technicians and 340,000 cabin crew members.