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By Saabira Chaudhuri
Boeing Co. (BA) said it expects air carriers in North America will take delivery of 7,290 new airplanes over the next 20 years at a market value of $820 billion.
Taking retirements of airplanes into account, the aerospace group said the North America fleet will grow 33% to about 8,830 airplanes by 2031.
"The North American commercial aviation market is about to record a third consecutive year of profit, with modest passenger traffic growth," said Randy Tinseth, vice president of marketing for Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "The long-term outlook for the North American airline industry is approximately 3% annual traffic growth through the forecast period."
He added the market is "shaped by aggressive growth of low-cost carriers and the need to replace aging airplanes in the fleets of the established network carriers."
Boeing said it expects the network carriers to maintain strict capacity discipline, while low-cost carriers will continue to outpace network carrier growth to accommodate increased demand and fill some markets abandoned by network carriers.
The company also estimates that single-aisle airplanes will grow to 69% of the total North America fleet by 2031, and that long-haul international traffic to and from North America will grow at an annual rate of about 5%.
It said international growth is primarily driven by anticipated passenger traffic to Southwest Asia, China, the Middle East, Africa and South America, and that passenger traffic between North America and those regions is forecasted grow at or above 6% per year.
This growth in the long-haul segment is expected to result in demand for an additional 1,320 new fuel-efficient, twin-aisle airplanes such as the Boeing 787 Dreamliner.
Boeing also said large airplanes--those that are of the 747-size and larger--will not see significant demand in North America, with only about 40 airplanes, or 1% of the total investment.
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