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.
Recent global events, including regional political turmoil, energy price volatility, and debt crises, have dampened global economic growth. Although growth is expected to return, albeit slowly, the risks of persistent high oil prices and debt contagion could have lasting effects. A slowdown of trade liberalization could constrain economic growth in some regions, prolonging and delaying the recovery, which would adversely affect 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, the recent reauthorization of the US Export-Import Bank charter helps level the playing field for aircraft manufacturers and airlines.
Liberalization of aviation services stimulates competition, giving passengers more choices and generally reducing ticket prices, which in turn increases demand for air travel. Unlike trade liberalization, air services liberalization has not slowed significantly, despite continued resistance from some governments. This resistance stems primarily from concern about allowing increased levels of foreign ownership in domestic airlines.
Infrastructure, security, and environment
The Current Market Outlook projects that the global large commercial airplane fleet will double by the year 2031. The resultant global air traffic growth will necessitate 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. Moreover, governments around the world are aligning with the industry's strategies to reduce emissions and achieve carbon-neutral growth. This approach will allow the industry to continue strong growth over the long term, despite anticipated regulatory constraints.