Aviation

Boeing’s rosy outlook calls for strong demand to continue

Factory crews work on 787 airplanes at the Boeing Co. facility in Everett, Wash., earlier this month. Boeing said Thursday it expects a global demand for 38,050 new airplanes with a value of $5.6 trillion over the next 20 years.
Factory crews work on 787 airplanes at the Boeing Co. facility in Everett, Wash., earlier this month. Boeing said Thursday it expects a global demand for 38,050 new airplanes with a value of $5.6 trillion over the next 20 years. Bloomberg

Boeing said Thursday it expects a global demand for 38,050 new airplanes with a value of $5.6 trillion over the next 20 years.

The commercial airplane maker said in its Current Market Outlook that narrowbody aircraft will lead the pack, with demand for 26,730 airplanes over the next two decades.

“At the heart of the single-aisle market are the Boeing 737-800 and the future 737 MAX 8,” Randy Tinseth, vice president of marketing for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said in a news release. “These airplanes offer customers the most fuel efficiency, reliability and capability in this class.”

Spirit AeroSystems makes the fuselage and other parts of the 737-800, and will have the same work on the MAX.

Boeing said in the widebody segment, demand will top 8,830 new airplanes, and led by 200- to 300-seat widebody airplanes, which would include its 787-8 and 787-9 Dreamliner.

Boeing has been buoyed in recent years by unprecedented demand for commercial airliners, and the company said its updated outlook reflects a continued shift in demand from very large airplanes — likely a rub to competitor Airbus’ A380 jumbo jet — to efficient new twin-engine jets, including the 787 and new 777X.

Airbus has not yet released its 20-year forecast for 2015. In its 2014 forecast, Boeing’s rival said it expected demand for 31,358 passenger jets, with narrowbody airplanes accounting for 22,071 of total airliners.

Ray Jaworowski, a senior aerospace analyst at Forecast International, said the forecasts from Boeing and Airbus generally are in line with industry forecasts — and with each other, when the forecasts are from the same year.

Jaworowski said Boeing’s demand forecast for narrowbodies is consistent with his firm’s production forecast.

“That pretty much tracks with our own numbers,” he said. “It’s the far larger market.”

He said demand for narrowbody airliners is strong because of the rise of low fare carriers and all airlines’ need for fuel efficient aircraft to operate on shorter routes.

Boeing’s forecast is also helpful for suppliers like Spirit, which in addition to its work on 737s also manufactures parts of other Boeing airplanes, including the forward sections of the 777 and the 787.

A Spirit spokesman said Thursday the company pays “close attention to OEM forecasts for demand. That demand is what drives our business.”

Reach Jerry Siebenmark at 316-268-6576 or jsiebenmark@wichitaeagle.com. Follow him on Twitter: @jsiebenmark.

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