2015-2034 Aviation Long-Term Market Outlook by Boeing
For the aviation industry, 2014 was an outstanding year—key metrics increased across the board, and we will continue to see this trend, with lower oil prices expected to save the industry tens of billions of dollars in 2015 alone.
Passenger traffic as measured by revenue passenger kilometers (RPK) was up nearly six percent in 2014, and capacity was up nearly 5.8 percent. The result was record load factors of almost 80 percent worldwide. Airlines continued using their airplanes more efficiently, as demonstrated by utilization rates that were 15 percent higher than those of a decade earlier.
Because of lower oil prices and various increased efficiencies, airlines had profits of US$20 billion during 2014, which was also a record year for airplane manufacturers such as Boeing and Airbus. Over 1,490 jet airplanes were delivered, and airlines ordered approximately 3,680 new airplanes.
Global economic expansion is expected to continue, and although the overall picture is good, there will be regional challenges. North America is leading the economic global acceleration, and the Eurozone is finally starting to gain economic momentum. In the past, emerging markets have driven economic growth, but we are now starting to see some regional divergence from this trend. Based on these and other market indicators, Boeing near-term 2015 forecast is for RPK growth to exceed six percent, with cargo traffic growth accelerating above five percent. The bottom line is that with a favorable cost environment and strengthening demand, many airlines will see opportunities for record profits in 2015.
Boeing long-term outlook incorporates the effects of market forces on the growth of the aviation industry. Based on what has happened historically and what is expected to occur, world GDP is anticipated to grow at 3.1 percent annually over the next 20 years. During the same period, passenger traffic is forecast to grow by 4.9 percent and air cargo traffic by 4.7 percent.
Shape of the market
Over the next 20 years, Boeing forecasts a need for 38,050 airplanes valued at more than $5.6 trillion. Aviation is becoming more diverse, with approximately 40 percent of all new airplanes being delivered to airlines based in the Asia Pacific region. An additional 20 percent will be delivered to airlines in Europe and North America, with the remaining 20 percent to be delivered to the Middle East, Latin America, the Commonwealth of Independent States, and Africa.
Single-aisle airplanes command the largest share of new deliveries, with airlines needing approximately 26,730. These new airplanes will continue to stimulate growth for low-cost carriers and will provide needed replacements for older, less-efficient airplanes. In addition, widebody fleets will need an additional 8,830 new airplanes, which will allow airlines to serve new markets more efficiently than in the past.
Purpose of Current Market Outlook
Current Market Outlook is The Boeing Company's long-term forecast of passenger and cargo traffic and its estimate of the number of airplanes needed to support the forecast. The forecast is published annually to factor in changing market forces affecting the industry. The forecast is used to shape Boeing product strategy and guide long-term business planning.