A sudden rise in demand for commercial air travel in domestic markets like the United States has offset the more gloomy industry predictions for a global rebound and has prompted Boeing to revise up its long-term demand forecasts.
In recent times, The United States based plane making giant had prepared for meeting the expected growth in travel demand and military services, which is reflected in its raised forecast, even though the ability of the company to respond to the better outlook has been dampened by industrial delays and the 737 MAX crisis which is still lingering on.
A forecast of sale of 43,610 commercial jet deliveries over the next 20 years, which would be worth $7.2 trillion, was made by the US plane maker, which along with its European rival Airbus, dominates jet sales globally. The US firm had previously forecast sale of 500 units less for the period a year ago.
Boeing forecast 19,330 deliveries for the shorter 10-year period – a time frame that is more susceptible for severe impact to the air travelling industry and airlines of the Covid-19 pandemic. The company had previously forecast deliveries of 18,350 planes for the same period.
However, the latest 10-year forecast of plane deliveries made by Boeing is about 6 per cent lower than what it had predicted in 2019 – prior to the pandemic hit, while the forecast for the same period made last year was lower by 11 per cent compared to pre-crisis levels.
“One of the strongest reasons for confidence is how quickly we have seen a bounce-back in domestic travel in the last 12 months,” Boeing Chief Strategy Officer Marc Allen told reporters.
The company forecast domestic flying achieving the pre-crisis levels in 2022 while the same is expected to be achieved by regional traffic in 2023 and international air travel in 2024.
Demand for airliners is seen as a bellwether for the wider economy. Boeing also hiked its assumption for average annual global economic growth to 2.7 per cent from 2.5 per cent from last year’s forecast.
The retirement of jets is likely to be accelerated by environmental pressure and Covid-19, hopes Boeing and other plane makers which would create demand for new planes in the industry.
But concerns about the unpredictable spread of coronavirus variants and the current restrictions on international travel have been raised by several analysts, even in the face of a steady increase in vaccination rates.
Boeing held on to its annual passenger traffic growth forecast – at 4 per cent, even though the growth rate has gone down slightly since 2015 from the once-reliable 5 per cent as a record aviation boom peaked.
(Adapted from TinesNewsNeetwork.com)