Boeing’s number-crunchers published their long-awaited new commercial market outlook at the Farnborough show–the first full-blown revision of airliner demand since September 11. The new forecast anticipates 24,000 new airplane deliveries over the next 20 years, which is actually 500 units more than the U.S. airframer had envisioned in its 2001 report.
The main premise for the anticipated upturn in demand is that more than 4,000 aircraft are now approaching retirement. Of the 1,400 transports currently mothballed in the desert, Boeing forecasters expect that no more than 650 will be returned to service, with operators choosing to replace them with newer, more efficient equipment.
Nevertheless, Boeing Commercial Airplane marketing v-p Randy Baseler did concede that continued stock market turbulence could partly undermine this assumption. He reported that, particularly in the U.S., carriers are having a hard time boosting depressed yields, with four recent attempts to hike fares having collapsed.
In any case, deliveries are not expected to recover until at least 2004. Figures released at Farnborough 2002 show that Airbus and Boeing together will ship fewer than 600 aircraft next year–compared with almost 700 in 2002.