MIAMI — Is the bubble popping on new aircraft demand? Boeing’s head of marketing sees no such evidence of a bubble or orders deflating. If he does, he isn’t saying.
Last week during Boeing’s Pre-Paris Media Days, Randy Tinseth, vice president, marketing for Boeing Commercial Airplanes, held an informal briefing on the airframes view of the state of commercial air travel growth and BCA’s products. In spite of an uneven global economic recovery, particularly in Russia, Europe, and Brazil, Boeing perceives the commercial market aviation continuing to deliver exponential growth both in the short and long term. Increasing demand from regions such as the Middle East and Asia—particularly China—and the boom from low-cost carriers, has driven Boeing to raise its forecast.
Tinseth remains very positive on new aircraft demand. The previous Boeing Current Market Outlook (CMO) Report indicated that passenger traffic was expected to grow 5 percent annually, but according to Tinseth “in 2015, passenger traffic growth has been very brisk with a 6 percent, equivalent to an additional 150 million passengers in just one year, and 900 new aircraft per year are needed to cope with this demand.”
Demand Exceeds Supply
During the last few years, both leading aircraft manufacturers—Airbus and Boeing—have ramped up the production of some of their products, particularly the single-aisle family airliners. In the case of Boeing, as of early June, its net orders totaled 136 new aircraft, with a slight demand dominance of the single-aisle over the twin-aisle market.
Tinseth assured “We are in a market where demand is greater than supply. Up to April, we have delivered about 250 aircraft, and we expect to deliver from 700 to 750 planes this year.”
Focusing on the 777
As Boeing prepares its transition from the current 777 in production to its re-engineered version, the 777X, Tinseth confirmed that the company is “focusing on the 777 bridge.” Year-to-date, the company has garnered orders for 25 777 jets during this year, and production slots for 2016 are sold out, while slots in 2017 are filled by nearly 60 percent. Currently there are “a number of 777X campaigns going on, but the current focus is on 777,” Tinseth added.
Strong Dreamliner Demand
Although the net orders for the 787 Dreamliner stands at 34 this year, Tinseth is optimistic about its future. “There is a strong growing market for the 787-8 and 787-9, and despite over 400 Dreamliners orders are -8 and -9 variants, the last orders are for the larger -9 and -10 versions. Today, the 787 is less than 5 percent of the worldwide fleet, but is 20 percent of new city-pairs introduced.” Boeing expects to find a stride in the 787-10 between 2012 and 2023. Tinseth also dismissed concerns about the Airbus A330neo aircraft as a competitor of the 787 “They (Airbus) have been pretty quiet since initial orders. The 787 is simply a better airplane.”
Boeing expects to find a stride in the 787-10 between 2012 and 2023. Tinseth also dismissed concerns about the Airbus A330neo aircraft as a competitor of the 787 “They (Airbus) have been pretty quiet since initial orders. The 787 is simply a better airplane.”
The Queen of the Skies and the 757 Replacement
When questioned about the future of the 747-8 program and the concerns about its future—spiked by a stagnated demand in air cargo—Tinseth affirmed, “We’ll have more 748 orders to announce this year.” Though the heart around the program is the cargo market, there still are a few carriers with the route structure to take advantage of the 747-8’s capacity and payload capabilities versus the 777-9X.
About a possible 757 replacement, Tinseth assured that “we are engaged with customers and we are constantly hearing that they want something a bit bigger and longer-range than the 757 and compelling economics not only from efficiently but from purchase price. We are still trying to figure out how big this market is.”
Stiff Competition in the 90-130 Seat Market
Tinseth also shared his vision about the current 90- to 130 -eat market. “Single-aisle is a big market. There are opportunities for more than two manufacturers in the segment. However, will there be three or four?” He admitted that “We see challenges of other like Bombardier (and its CSeries and Mitsubishi (MRJ), reaffirming just how tough this business is.” He also sees COMAC in business for the long term as well.
A Bright Future with a Lot of Work to Do
Boeing has constantly enjoyed record orders over the last few years. “Execution and delivery are very important to us. We are keep delivery this year of 700-750 aircraft on schedule”. Tinseth added “Our focus is on expanding the 737MAX customer base, strengthen the 787 order base and the 777 bridge.” However, to achieve previous year’s numbers “We have work to do to.”