June 17, 2019 / 1:35 PM / a month ago

Boeing lifts 20-year industry demand forecast to $6.8 trillion

FILE PHOTO: Visitors talk on the Boeing stand during the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE) at Cointrin Airport in Geneva, Switzerland May 21, 2019. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo

LE BOURGET, France (Reuters) - Boeing Co raised its rolling 20-year industry forecast for passenger aircraft by 3% on Monday, fueled by strong air traffic predictions, though global geopolitical and economic risks could upset the rosy outlook.

The world’s largest planemaker said at the Paris Airshow it expected 44,040 new airplane deliveries over the next two decades, up from the roughly 43,000 it forecast a year ago.

That would be worth $6.8 trillion over the next two decades at list prices versus last year’s $6.3 trillion prediction.

Dominating that tally is a roughly 3% increase in the forecast for single-aisle aircraft, such as the Airbus A320 family and the competing Boeing 737 MAX which remains grounded in the wake of two deadly crashes.

The forecast is underpinned by a prediction for average global traffic growth of 4.6 percent, down fractionally from the 4.7 percent projected last year.

The $3.8 trillion single-aisle market is driven to a large degree by strong demand in the Asia Pacific travel market, Boeing said, though the Chicago-based manufacturer is exposed to slowing economies, trade tensions and geopolitical uncertainties.

Boeing now sees 32,420 deliveries in the medium-haul, single-aisle category, which is the cash cow of the world’s two largest planemakers and popular with low-cost airlines, the jetmaker said.

In the wide-body segment, Boeing sees demand for 8,340 new passenger airplanes valued at more than $2.6 trillion over the next two decades, up 270 from the 8,070 it forecast last year, driven by airlines’ need to refresh their fleets and growth in demand for longer-haul air travel.

Reporting by Eric M. Johnson; Editing by Mark Potter

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