A new forecast of airliner production predicts annual growth in all but two of the next 15 years – at the very least suggesting steady employment for the Wichita companies that manufacture parts for them, including Spirit AeroSystems.
Forecast International said in a news release that 26,210 commercial jetliners will be produced between 2017 and 2031.
The forecast includes all passenger jets manufactured by Airbus, Boeing as well as Bombardier’s C Series CS300, COMAC’s C919 and Irkut’s MC-21.
Airbus and Boeing are expected to share most of the production, with Forecast International predicting production of 12,399 jetliners at Boeing and 12,211 at Airbus for a 47.3 percent and 46.6 percent share of the 15-year market, respectively. That leaves 1,600 airplanes to be shared between Bombardier, China’s COMAC and Russia’s Irkut.
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The forecast projects total annual production to increase from 1,512 aircraft in 2017 to 1,783 in 2020. A cyclical downturn in 2021 and 2022 will lower production to 1,600 airplanes in 2021 and 1,586 in 2022, the Newton, Conn., firm predicts.
However, airliner production will resume growth between 2023 and 2031, with a peak production year in 2030 of 1,863 jetliners.
Forecast International said its projections account for the effects of the current slump in demand for widebody passenger jets.
“Airbus and Boeing are largely protected from market fluctuations by their order backlogs, which represent more than eight years’ worth of production at current build rates,” Forecast International senior aerospace analyst Ray Jaworowski said in the release. “…In both segments, the long-term outlook is positive.”