Boeing has declared the world economic recession all but over and issued its rosiest commercial aircraft forecast in years. The company's pre-Paris Air Show analysis predicts a doubling of the world fleet of commercial aircraft over the next 20 years, with 33,500 aircraft selling for a total of $4 trillion. "The world market has recovered and is now expanding at a significant rate," Randy Tinseth, Boeing's VP of marketing for commercial aircraft, told reporters. "Not only is there a strong demand for air travel and new airplanes today, but the fundamental drivers of air travel including economic growth, world trade and liberalization all point to a healthy long-term demand." Much of the growth will come from emerging markets in China, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America, while traditional markets in Europe and North America will be buying planes for fleet modernization.
Although the big buzz at Paris seems to be how Boeing will counter the multi-front assault on its single-aisle 737, Boeing says the big market for the next 20 years will be in twin-aisle long-range aircraft that will respond to the demands of globalization and trade liberalization. The wild card will be the effect of fuel supply and demand on airlines. "While passengers are getting what they want more frequencies and nonstop service rising and volatile fuel prices are expected to continue to challenge the industry," Tinseth said. Boeing is debuting its 747-8 stretched jumbo at Paris, which runs June 20-26.