Canadian Manufacturing

Aircraft market could hit $4 trillion over next 20 years

Boeing Co. increased its forecast for aircraft demand over the next 20 years, citing increased traffic in Asia-Pacific region.

PARIS—Boeing Co. increased its forecast for aircraft demand over the next 20 years, saying airlines will need $4 trillion worth of new planes to meet a pickup in passenger numbers, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region.

Airlines will need 33,500 new jets from now through 2030, Boeing said in a statement.

Boeing executives released the new forecast ahead of next week’s Paris Air Show, which highlights the planemaker’s industry-dominating rivalry with Europe’s Airbus.

Check out this photo gallery of Airbus’ newest concept jet with see-through cabin roof

Randy Tinseth, vice-president of marketing for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, told reporters in Paris that the company expects market demand to be “resilient” in the coming years, with five per cent average annual passenger traffic growth.

He said the largest market will be for single-aisle jets seating between 90 and 240 passengers.

Boeing also noted that “volatile fuel costs, political upheaval in the Middle East and North Africa and unresolved government debt in many industrialized economies create risk of a renewed downturn,” but it said this should not hurt the industry long term.

The planemaker says it raised its forecast after passenger air traffic rose eight per cent in 2010, after declining about two per cent in 2009, when much of the world was experiencing a deep recession.

Boeing also announced that it will ramp up production of the next-generation 737, its most popular jet.

Boeing is the biggest maker of commercial planes after Airbus, based on 2010 deliveries. Airbus delivered 510 commercial planes last year, compared with 462 for Boeing.

Photo: Boeing Co.

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