Aviation prepares for high demand for long-duration flights
Forecast International projects that 18,679 large commercial transport aircraft will be produced in the 10-year period from 2022 to 2031
The value of this production, in constant 2022 US dollars, is estimated at $2.94 trillion.
Annual unit production is projected to increase from 1,156 large commercial transport aircraft in 2022 to 2,111 in 2029. Production is projected to fall to 2,037 aircraft in 2030 due to an anticipated cyclical downturn. Production in 2031 is forecast to total 2,051 aircraft.
Our forecast indicates that Airbus and Boeing will account for 96.7 percent of the total production in the large passenger aircraft market during the 10-year forecast period. Together, the two manufacturers are projected to build 18,066 large airliners during the time period.
Airbus is anticipated to build 9,774 large commercial aircraft during the forecast period, while Boeing is anticipated to build 8,292. Airbus is projected to lead the market in narrow-body production, while Boeing is projected to lead the market in wide-body production.
Demand for large commercial aircraft recovered substantially in 2021. Combined, Airbus and Boeing booked 1,666 gross orders for large commercial aircraft in 2021, nearly triple the 561 gross orders booked by the two companies in 2020. Order cancellations continued to a high (albeit reduced) level through 2021, suppressing net order totals.
"The large commercial aircraft market is still essentially an Airbus/Boeing duopoly," said Raymond Jaworowski, senior aerospace analyst at Forecast International. “However, the two giant manufacturers face some challenges, particularly in the narrow-body segment. New narrowbodies entering the market include China's COMAC C919 and Russia's Irkut MC-21.
"Boeing has made considerable progress in getting its 737 MAX program back on track. The company resumed MAX deliveries to customers in December 2020.
Boeing is well positioned in the wide-body market, where its twin-engine 777 and 787 models have proven to be popular items. The 787 program suffered a production problem in 2021, causing a temporary suspension of deliveries, but this should only be a short-term hurdle. As for the 777, Boeing is currently managing a transition from the Classic versions to the new 777X series, a move that has become somewhat difficult amid a tough widebody market. Production of the four-engine 747-8 is scheduled to end in 2022.
Airbus has also been in the process of reshaping its product line. In the narrow-body segment, the redesigned variants of the A320neo have largely succeeded the original members of the A320 family in production. The A321LR and A321XLR versions of the A321neo are making at least a partial foray into the Boeing 757 replacement market. Bombardier's acquisition of the CSeries has provided Airbus with a product, rebranded as the A220, positioned at the lower end of the narrow-body market. .
In the field of wide-body aircraft, Airbus is replacing the original A330 with the redesigned A330neo. Production ramp-up of the A350 was interrupted by the pandemic, but is due to resume in 2023. A freighter version of the A350 is under development. Production of the 500+ passenger A380 ended in 2021.
Representatives from Forecast International will be on hand at the Farnborough Airshow (Hall 3, Booth 2521) to demonstrate the company's extensive line of aerospace and defense market intelligence products, including Platinum Forecast System 4.4.