By The Nation
The US-based company says its extensive product portfolio remains Boeing’s key competitive advantage.
Randy Tinseth, Boeing Commercial Airplanes vice president for marketing, said that according to Boeing’s “Current Market Outlook 2016-2035”, global passenger air traffic will grow by 5.1 per cent this year, while cargo traffic will expand by 3.3 per cent.
“In 2016, approximately 3.7 billion people travelled by air. [Over the next] 20 years, the number will increase by 4 per cent on average per year. By 2035, a total of 7.8 billion people will be travelling by air. This means demand for aircraft is constantly rising, bringing great opportunities for the market,” Tinseth said.
Single-aisle aircraft make up the industry’s largest segment, accounting for 71 per cent of the total number of planes being delivered to airlines.
Asia will be the No 1 market, with 15,130 aircraft deliveries over the next 20 years, followed by North America with 8,330 units, Europe with 7,570, the Middle East with 3,310, Latin America with 2,960, and the Commonwealth of Independent States and Africa with 1,150 units each.
Within Asia, Southeast Asia is the fastest-growing market, accounting for 25 per cent.
Together with the growing market for new planes, opportunities in aviation-related services are increasing. Such services include ground and cargo operations, which are growing by 3.7 per cent per annum, maintenance and engineering (4.1-per-cent annual growth), flight operations (3.9 per cent), marketing and planning (4.2 per cent), and corporate services (2.9 per cent).
“Considering this market trend and opportunities, Boeing is in [a] strong position to serve the higher market demand. We have the most extensive product portfolio and offer greater choices for airlines. At the moment, we have a backlog of 5,715 aircraft valued [at] US$416 billion, which will take seven years to deliver to customers,” Tinseth said.
He added that the 737 MAX would be the most profitable single-aisle plane the industry had ever seen and would be in service by 2020.
The Boeing 787 family, the most innovative and efficient airplane family, has also become very popular, with 1,211 orders from 64 customers. So far 532 units have been delivered.
“It took the Boeing 767 as long as 40 years to achieve this number of sales, while the Boeing 787 took only 12 years. And with the Boeing 787, as many as 140 new markets and routes have been opened,” he said.
Building on the success of the 787 family, the Boeing 787-9 takes the industry to a new level as it can carry 20 per cent more passengers and 23 per cent more cargo and fly 520 kilometres further than the previous 787-8.
Most recently, the latest member of the family, the Boeing 787-10, successfully made its first flight. The aircraft will offer airlines more fuel efficiency and will be in service by next year.
The Boeing 777 remains the best-selling wide-body aircraft of all time, with 1,500 orders confirmed.
Boeing says it supports Thailand’s policy to become the aviation hub of the region. Tinseth noted that Boeing had been working with suppliers and airlines in seeking the best suppliers for maintenance and aviation-related services.
At present, Boeing is working closely with Thai Airways International in pilot and mechanic training using THAI’s existing facilities.