SEATTLE/PARIS, June 11 (Reuters) - Boeing on Tuesday upgraded its 20-year forecast for airplane demand, saying airlines will need 35,280 new jets worth $4.8 trillion as the world’s fleet doubles over the next two decades.
The bullish new forecast shows a 3.8 percent increase from Boeing’s prior rolling 20-year outlook, anticipating a surge in Asia-Pacific travel that will keep production rates at jet factories rising.
Boeing said passenger and cargo traffic, both indicators of economic activity, are expected to grow 5 percent annually.
Airlines will need 24,670 single-aisle jets worth $2.29 trillion at list prices, according to the latest forecast, up from 23,240 forecast last year. These include the industry’s most-sold models like the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320.
But among larger and smaller planes, the trend is for less or flat demand compared with previous forecasts, Boeing said.
The forecast for twin-aisle planes such as the Boeing 777 and 787 and the Airbus A330 and A350 fell 1.5 percent to 7,830, compared with last year’s forecast, Boeing said.
For Boeing 747 and Airbus A380 jumbo jets, the forecast fell 3.8 percent to 760 planes, from 790 aircraft forecast last year.
The forecast for regional jets made by Bombardier and Embraer was unchanged at 2,020 aircraft.
Global passenger traffic will rise about 5 percent this year, matching the long-term trend, and slightly faster in 2014, said Randy Tinseth, vice president of marketing at Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
The global fleet of commercial airplanes hit 20,310 last year, its first time above 20,000, and is expected to more than double to 41,000 planes by 2032, Boeing said.
Of that fleet in 2032, about 41 percent will be replacement aircraft for jets coming out of service, 59 percent will reflect growth in travel and about 6,000 will be airplanes still in service.
Boeing dismissed concerns that aircraft makers are churning out too many planes, creating a bubble of oversupply.
“Every indicator that we see in the market says that the demand is real and there is a need to increase production,” he said.
Travel within the Asia-Pacific region, including China, will more than triple, far outstripping gains in other regions, Boeing said. By the end of the two decades, that region’s travel will rival travel within Europe, North America and China combined.