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Ask about planes permanently affected by the pandemic

(New York) Demand for new aircraft is expected to be much lower than expected over the next ten years, due to the drop in air traffic due to the coronavirus pandemic, Boeing said Tuesday.

Posted Oct 6, 2020 at 11:06 am

Juliette MICHEL
Agence France-Presse

The US aircraft manufacturer, in its new global market forecast 2020-2039, cut its forecasts by 11% of the number of passenger aircraft that will be delivered to companies around the world by 2029, to 18,350 aircraft.

But just like after September 11, 2001, the global SARS epidemic in 2002-2003 or the financial crisis of 2007-2009, "will once again show the industry that it is resilient," said Darren Hulst, vice president of Marketing. for Boeing's commercial aviation division during a conference call. In the longer term, the upward trend in air transport should resume, the manufacturer anticipates, which expects the sale of 43,110 new aircraft over the next 20 years. However, this remains 5% lower than the previous forecast published at the Paris Air Show in June 2019.

The airline group expects an annual growth in air traffic of an average of 4% by 2039.

In total the world fleet is expected to almost double by then to 48,400 aircraft from 25,900 at present.

But in the short term, the number of air passengers fell by more than 90% at the height of the restrictions imposed to limit the spread of COVID-19.

It has since recovered somewhat and is currently at 25% of the usual level. Especially in countries such as China, Russia, India, the United States and Brazil, traffic has increased.

But it will take years to return to normal, especially on international flights, Boeing estimates.

Replaced aircraft

It will take three years to return to the level of 2019 and at least five years to catch up with long-term trends, says Hulst.

One thing will be difficult to change, he said: Once a vaccine or an effective treatment is found, passengers will be as tight as they were before the virus.

In any case, this situation is creating a new dynamic in the aviation market, especially for companies to accelerate the replacement of certain aircraft.

In the past decade, approximately 35% of orders were to replace obsolete aircraft. This figure is expected to rise to 60% in the short term, before stabilizing at an average of 48% over the next 20 years. Boeing expected 44% last year.

The single-aisle segment, more used on domestic flights, should recover faster than that of wide-body aircraft.

Demand for single-aisle aircraft, such as the 737 MAX, is expected to reach 32,270 aircraft, up from 32,420 expected in 2019, while Boeing forecasts demand for 7,480 jumbo jets by 2039, up from 8,340 last year.

The current crisis in Boeing's flagship airliner, which has been on the ground since March 2019 after two crashes that claimed 346 lives, is unlikely to affect the demand for new aircraft as such, Hulst predicts.

A positive sign in the aviation market: freight demand is booming thanks to the boom in online orders. It is expected to decline in the coming years and Boeing expects it to increase by an average of 4% over the next two decades.

For Boeing, the pandemic should not affect government demand for defense equipment and aviation services.

In total, the US aircraft manufacturer expects a total market of $ 8,500 billion over the next ten years for aviation products and services, which is less than the $ 8,700 billion expected. last year.

The increase in air travel demand should also be accompanied by the recruitment of nearly 2.4 million people by 2039, slightly less than the 2.5 million expected in 2019.

Unlike Boeing, the European manufacturer Airbus has chosen not to release forecasts this year due to too much uncertainty about air travel.

Written by Rahis

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