MIAMI – Boeing released an optimistic forecast of US$9tn on the aerospace and defense markets spanning over the next decade. We’ll focus on the commercial aerospace markets.

The 2021 edition of the Boeing Market Outlook (BMO) reflects the signs of a post-COVID-19 recovery being registered by the industry, particularly for commercial airplanes and services, and stemming from the analysis of the long-term market dynamics. The BMO also indicates that global defense, space, and government services remain stable.

The new edition of the BMO is more optimistic than a year ago with an announced forecast of US$8.5tn and even better than the pre-pandemic one, published in 2019, which stood at US$8.7tn reflecting continued progress in the market recovery.

"As our industry recovers and continues to adapt to meet new global needs, we remain confident in long-term growth for aerospace." Boeing Chief Strategy Officer Marc Allen Click To Tweet

Marc Allen, Boeing Chief Strategy Officer said, “We are encouraged by the fact that scientists have delivered vaccines more rapidly than imaginable and that passengers are demonstrating strong confidence in airplane travel.”

Boeing 737 Max in House Colors – Photo: Daniel Gorun/Airways

Commercial Market outlook


The 2021 Commercial Market Outlook (CMO) shows is on a large recovery trend, corresponding to the projection made by Boeing in 2020, with the domestic travel demand leading the way, and intra-regional markets following the trend thanks to the ease of travel restrictions. International and intercontinental travel is expected to follow suit and reach a pre-pandemic situation by 2023-2024.

The projection made by CMO for the next decade foresees a global demand for 19,600 commercial aircraft with a value of US$3.2tn while the 20-year forecast, spanning thru 2040, sees demand for over 43,500 new airplanes valued at US$7.2tn.

Airplane demand 2021-2040
Airplane TypeSeatsTotal deliveries
Regional jets90 or less2390
Single Aisle90 or more32660
Widebody7670
Freighters W/body890
Total43610
Source: Boeing Press Release

The forecast expects increased demand for freighters, both new or conversions, deriving from an ever-increasing demand for cargo space linked to the growing expansion rate of e-commerce and request for freight’s speed and reliability. The CMO estimates the global freighters fleet to be 70% larger by 2040 when compared to the pre-COVID-19 situation.

Stan Deal, President and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, commented on the CMO and said, “The aerospace industry has made important progress in the recovery, and Boeing’s 2021 forecast reflects our confidence in the resilience of the market. While we remain realistic about ongoing challenges, the past year has shown that passenger traffic rebounds swiftly when the flying public and governments have confidence in health and safety during air travel.”

Deal added, “Our industry continues to serve an essential role of bringing people together and transporting critical supplies.”

Boeing 787 Dreamliner in House Colors – Phoo: Brandon Farris/Airways

Highlights of the New 20-year CMO Forecast


  • The availability and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines will continue to be critical factors in the near-term recovery of passenger air travel. Countries with more widespread vaccination distribution have shown rapid air travel recovery, as governments ease domestic restrictions and open borders to international travel.
  • Passenger traffic growth is projected to increase by an average of 4% per year, unchanged from last year’s forecast.
  • The global commercial fleet will surpass 49,000 airplanes by 2040, with China, Europe, North America and the Asia-Pacific countries each accounting for about 20% of new airplane deliveries, and the remaining 20% going to other emerging markets.
  • Demand for more than 32,500 new single-aisle planes is about equal to the pre-pandemic outlook. These models continue to command 75% of deliveries in the 20-year forecast.
  • Carriers will need more than 7,500 new widebody airplanes by 2040 to support fleet renewal and long-term passenger and air cargo demand growth in longer-haul markets. These projections are up slightly compared to 2020 but remain down 8% from 2019.

Services Market Outlook


The Service Market Outlook represents a substantial part of the BMO with an estimated value of US$3.2tn, split between commercial, business, and general aviation – accounting for US$1.7tn -, and government services which represent an estimated value of US$1.5tn.

These services include digital solutions and analytical offers, aircraft interior modification, and freighter conversions, training services for transition to new aircraft types or to maintain certifications, particularly with the return to active on-line duty after pandemic induced pauses.

“Our customers are preparing for growth, and we see fleet modifications and continued parts consumption going hand in hand with the global fleet expansion,” said Ted Colbert, president, and CEO, Boeing Global Services. “This demand will be coupled with the continued adoption of digital tools and services to enhance fleet readiness, reliability, and efficiency.”

Pilot and Technician Outlook


With the recovery from the pandemic crisis in progress, new personnel and related training will become a critical issue for the industry to ensure economic health, safety, and prosperity. This will lead to long-term demand for newly qualified personnel and related training programs.

BMO projection on personnel demand estimates that over 2.1 million people will be globally necessary to fly and maintain the expected commercial fleet over the next 20 years. The numbers include not less than 612,000 pilots, 626,000 maintenance technicians, and 88,600 cabin crew members.

Article source: Boeing Press Release


Featured image: Boeing 777-9 in House Colors : Photo: Nick Sheeder/Airways