Pandemic Hasn’t faded Boeing’s Rosy Prediction for Planes

Pandemic Hasn’t faded Boeing’s Rosy Prediction for Planes

“We lost about two years of growth,” said Darren Hulst, Boeing vice president of commercial marketing. “However, we see a recovery to pre-virus levels by the end of 2023 or early 2024.” Company officials said the last year shows that air travel can rebound quickly.

Despite the pandemic’s damage to air travel, Boeing says it’s optimistic about long-term demand for airplanes. Boeing said Tuesday that it expects the aerospace market to be worth $9 trillion over the next decade. That includes planes for airlines and military uses and other aerospace products and services. That outlook is even rosier than the one that Boeing gave in 2019, when it predicted industrywide sales of $8.7 billion over the next decade. In the U.S. and around the world, air travel within countries is picking up faster than cross-border travel, as the U.S. and many other countries maintain high barriers to international travel.

An average of 1.85 million passengers boarded planes in the U.S. each day in August, up from about 700,000 per day last year. However, that was still down 23% from the 2.4 million daily average in August 2019, according to government figures.

In the U.S. and around the world, air travel within countries is picking up faster than cross-border travel, as many countries maintain high barriers to international travel. In July, global domestic travel was 84% of July 2019 levels, but international travel was only 26%, according to the International Air Transport Association, the main trade group for global airlines.

Despite the setback from the pandemic, Chicago-based Boeing’s long-term outlook is little changed from a year ago. By 2030, the company predicts that airlines will need 19,000 new planes to replace old ones and for growth fueled by increasing demand for travel, especially in Asia. By 2040, the company forecast that the global fleet of airline planes will top 49,000, with nearly 40% of that in the Asia-Pacific region, led by China.

To fly those planes, Boeing Co. predicted the world will need 612,000 more pilots, 626,000 technicians, and 886,000 flight attendants over the next 20 years.

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