Boeing Commercial Airplanes President and CEO Scott Carson said the manufacturer believes “economic conditions have bottomed,” making a production cut in 2010 unlikely. Boeing said that commercial aviation is “cyclic and has a long history of declines and upturns”.
“It feels like we could be bouncing on the bottom,” Carson told reporters in Paris. “If capital remains available, I think we should be able to keep production levels where we have planned.”
“Over the past 30 years, through both tough and good times, traffic growth has averaged more than 5% per year, demonstrating the resilience of the market,” Boeing Commercial Airplanes VP-Marketing Randy Tinseth said. “The long-term outlook points to the next 20 years as being a time in which we see fundamental underlying factors supporting a strong need for new airplanes.”
The company said its forecast “takes into account the industry’s near-term realities” but that it still expects traffic to grow at an average rate of 4.9% annually and that aircraft demand will be fueled by both growing demand for air travel in Asia and the need for airlines in the US and Europe to replace less fuel-efficient models. Carriers “will focus on offering more flights using more efficient airplanes, rather than on using significantly larger airplanes,” it claimed.
Over the 20-year period the global freighter fleet is expected to increase more than 67% to 3,250 aircraft as cargo traffic grows at an average rate of 5.4%. “A shift toward larger freighters and new, more efficient airplanes will help keep air cargo transport affordable,” Boeing said.