Global Trends

Industry growth amid economic uncertainty

Boeing's business analysis includes extensive study of global geopolitical dynamics that influence commercial aviation. This research focuses on current events as well as long-term trends. The analysis helps to determine risk and opportunity in the commercial aviation market as a whole, and in specific regions around the world.

While recent global events, including regional political turmoil, energy price volatility, and debt crises, have dampened near-term global economic growth, over the longer term, global growth forecasts are nearing pre-crisis levels. As the effects of government support programs wind down, it will be important for governments to maintain pro-growth policies. With respect to trade policy, the pace of new protectionist measures has slowed. Any resurgence of protectionism could constrain economic growth, adversely affecting demand for air travel and new airplanes.

Level playing field and aviation liberalization

Government assistance for civil aircraft development remains a concern. Recent World Trade Organization rulings have made clear that such government support must be provided on commercial terms. In the area of export finance, with other nations ramping up their own export credit activity, the Export-Import Bank of the United States remains a vital contributor to the competitiveness of US exporters.

Liberalization of aviation services ("Open Skies") stimulates competition, giving passengers more choices and generally reducing ticket prices, which in turn increases demand for air travel. While the aviation industry remains heavily regulated in many parts of the world, the pace of liberalization has been steady, led by the United States, which has concluded Open Skies agreements with nearly 110 partners, including major markets such as the European Union and Japan.

Infrastructure, security, and environment

The Current Market Outlook projects that the global large commercial airplane fleet will nearly double by the year 2032. Such growth will require infrastructure investments, as initiatives to modernize air traffic management provide crucial enhancements to both system capacity and efficiency.

While significant improvements in aviation security have been made globally since 9/11, constant vigilance is still required. Security concerns will continue to affect commercial aviation operations.

The aviation industry is addressing environmental challenges with a three-pronged strategy of designing more efficient and safer aircraft, improving operational procedures, and developing sustainable biofuels. Boeing is working with governments around the world to support the industry’s emission-reduction goals. This approach will allow the industry to continue strong growth over the long term, despite anticipated regulatory constraints.