Long-Term Market

As Boeing celebrates the past with our centennial anniversary, we continue to look to the future with our Current Market Outlook. This publication is The Boeing Company's long-term forecast of passenger and cargo traffic and the number of airplanes necessary to support that expectation. Our Current Market Outlook is one of the longest published and most accurate forecasts in the aviation industry.

These predictions are used to shape the company's product strategy and guide long-term business planning, as well as to share our view with the public, informing airlines, suppliers, and the financial community of industry trends. We first shared Current Market Outlook in the early 1960s at a Boeing-supplier conference. Since then, we have updated our market outlook annually to freshly factor in the industry's changing market forces.

Year in Review

For the aviation industry, 2015 was an outstanding year. Key metrics increased across the board, and we expect to see this trend persist, with continued low oil prices anticipated to save the industry tens of billions of dollars in 2016 alone.

According to the International Air Transport Association, passenger traffic as measured by revenue passenger kilometers (RPK) was up approximately 6.7 percent, and capacity was up approximately 5.8 percent. The result was record load factors of more than 80 percent worldwide.

Because of lower oil prices and various increased efficiencies, airlines estimated net profits of $33 billion for 2015—which was also a good year for airplane manufacturers such as Boeing and Airbus. Over 1,400 jet airplanes were delivered, and airlines ordered more than 2,400 new airplanes.

These trends are expected to continue in 2016.

Market forces

Global economic expansion is expected to continue, and although the overall picture is good, there will be regional challenges. North America is leading the global economic acceleration, and the Eurozone is finally starting to gain economic momentum. In the past, emerging markets have driven economic growth, but we are now starting to see some regional divergence from this trend.

Effects of market forces

Our long-term outlook incorporates the effects of market forces on the growth of the aviation industry. Based on what has happened historically and what is expected to occur, world GDP is anticipated to grow at 2.9 percent annually over the next 20 years. During the same period, passenger traffic is predicted to grow by 4.8 percent and air cargo traffic by 4.2 percent.

Shape of the market

Over the next 20 years, Boeing is forecasting a need for over 39,000 airplanes valued at more than $5.9 trillion. Aviation is becoming more diverse, with approximately 38 percent of all new airplanes being delivered to airlines based in the Asia region. An additional 40 percent will be delivered to airlines in Europe and North America, with the remaining 22 percent to be delivered to the Middle East, Latin America, the Commonwealth of Independent States, and Africa.

Single-aisle airplanes command the largest share of new deliveries, with airlines needing over 28,000. These new airplanes will continue to stimulate growth for low-cost carriers and will provide required replacements for older, less-efficient airplanes. In addition, 9,100 new widebody airplanes will be delivered, which will allow airlines to serve new markets more efficiently than in the past.

2016 market expectations

Demand by size

Demand by region