SINGAPORE 2014: Asia-Pacific fleet to almost triple in 20 years says Boeing

Boeing forecasts the Asia-Pacific aircraft fleet to almost triple over the next 20 years, from 5,090 today to 14,750, of which 75% (9,660 units) will be for growth with 25% (3,160 units) as replacements for old aircraft, with 1,930 units retained in the fleet.

Led by factors such as the rapid expansion in the region by low-fare airlines, the forecast amounts to an additional 12,820 aeroplanes, valued at $1.9 trillion and representing 36% of all new deliveries over the next 20 years.

Presenting the forecast, Boeing Commercial Airplanes’ VP marketing, Randy Tinseth (pictured), noted that the low-fare market in the Asia-Pacific currently accounts for about 10% of available seat kilometres (ASKs) in the region. By 2032, he expects that share to be 20%. “Things are even more advanced in southeast Asia, where the low-fare airlines now have around 22% of ASKs, which is expected to rise to 40%-44% in 2032,” he observed. “The airline business is a growth market and the heart of the growth is here in the Asia-Pacific.”

Giving some of the background to the forecast, Tinseth pointed out that, last year, 3 billion people travelled by air for the first time. Moreover, airlines were profitable, led by the US carriers.

In 2014, Tinseth sees world GDP growing at a rate of about 3.2% with passenger traffic growing by approximately 5%. “So we are expecting our customers to make even more profits than last year, particularly with fuel prices being much more stable at the moment,” he remarked.

For Boeing Commercial Airplanes in 2014, Tinseth foresees the company building on its record 648 deliveries in 2013 and delivering 715-725 aircraft including 110 787s. The 737 production rate, for example, has just begun its rise from 38 a month to a planned 42 a month by mid-year. “And in 2017 that rate will reach 47 a month,” he added.

Bernie Baldwin, editor, Low-Fare & Regional Airlines/

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