Aerospace Industry set fair for a bright future
15 July 2010
Abrasives makers looking to supply materials to the tooling market for the aerospace will be contemplating the latest forecast from Boeing that the next 20 years will see the market for commercial aircraft to a whopping US$3.6 trillion.
This forecast, from Boeings 2010 current market outlook, predicts a demand for 30,900 new commercial passenger and freight aircraft by 2029. The report also coincided with the appearance of the company’s new lightweight Dreamliner, three years late, but making its debut at the all-important Farnborough Air show over the weekend.
While the company recognises that there are still challenges are result of the global downturn, Boeing sees the global economic growing above the long-term trend this year. Randy Tinseth, vice president of Marketing, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, says, (Both passenger and cargo travel will growth this year. Airline revenue and yields are up. But fuel prices remain volatile.”
Boeing’s report sees passenger traffic growing at 5.3% over the long-term, driven by economic growth from regions with diverse needs. It believes that the single-aisle airplane segment will continue to dominate growth worldwide. This, it says, is due to the proliferation of low-cost carriers, emerging markets such as India, China and Southeast Asia and continuing instability of fuel prices. According to Boeing’s report the single-aisle
segment has outpaced long-haul markets over the last decade and will continue to trend upward as older fleets are retired.
Strong growth in Asia
The Asia-Pacific region shows the most robust market gains, with China leading the way."Today, about one-third of all airline traffic touches the Asia-Pacific region, and as a result of the growth in this market, by 2029 almost 43 percent of all traffic will be to, from, or within the region," said Tinseth. The airlines of the Asia-Pacific region also will be the largest buyer of twin-aisle airplanes — about 40 percent of the total demand.
The Middle East, which has been one of the fastest growing regions for air travel in recent years, represents another very strong market. Airlines in the Middle East have been growing rapidly by taking advantage of geography, demographics, airplane technology and well-coordinated growth and investment plans.
It’s not bad news for the west either. The report forecasts that North American and European markets will see substantial demand for replacement airplanes as they retire aging less-efficient jets. Robust growth in emerging markets with dynamic populations and growing incomes will lead toward a more balanced airplane demand worldwide.
Boeing predicts that airlines will grow by responding to their passengers’ preference for more flight choices, lower fares and direct access to a wider range of destinations. Air carriers will focus on offering more flights using more efficient airplanes, rather than on using significantly larger airplanes. As a result, the market for large airplanes (747 and larger) is small at 720 airplanes. But it remains an important market segment with a value of $220 billion. It is a market largely for replacement of existing airplanes, not additional growth, with 45 percent of the demand from Asian customers and 23 percent from Middle East customers.
As the Dreamliner made its debut in the UK, Thomson Airways, the airline division of the UK’s largest package holiday company operating Thomson and First Choice holidays has also announced it will buy eight of the new aircraft which will take delivery in 2012.It will be the first company in the UK to have craft operational. TUI Travel PLC, Europe’s leading travel company and Thomson’s parent will take a further five of the craft. Around the world the Dreamliner orders already add up to more than 700.
Global Freighter Fleet Forecast Updated
There will be significant growth in freight transport too. Boeing projects the world freight fleet to increase from 1,750 to 2,980 airplanes — an increase of more than two-thirds. This growth will require 2,490 freighters.
Boeing will be adding to the fleet with its 740 new-production freighters (worth $180 billion at today’s prices) and 1,750 airplanes converted from passenger models. Large (more than 88.2 tons capacity/80 tonnes) freighters will account for 520 new-build airplanes. Medium (44.1 to 88.2 tons/40 to 80 tonnes) freighters will total 210 airplanes. Virtually all of the standard-body freighters (49.6 tons/less than 45 tonnes) are expected to come from conversions of passenger airplanes.
While the recession hit air cargo traffic significantly in 2009, Boeing forecasts that world air cargo traffic will increase at an annual average of 5.9 percent through 2029 from this low base. Included is the current strong year traffic growth that Boeing estimates will reach nearly 14 percent over full-year 2009 levels — a significant spike in the 20-year growth projection.
"The inclusion of the high-traffic growth levels in 2010, following the recession, is driving our cargo forecast upward," said Tinseth. "However, the strength of the industry and its growth will continue to be driven by sound fundamentals — speed and reliability, consumer product innovation and global industrial interdependence."