Between now and the year 2033, Boeing is anticipating a worldwide demand for nearly 37,000 new passenger planes, worth an estimated $5.2 trillion. Boeing also expects a 4.2 percent increase in global passenger traffic over this period. And you thought planes and airports were crowded now?
Boeing's aircraft are America's largest export, in monetary value, so this is certainly great news for the economy - particularly in the Seattle region, where Boeing builds most of their planes. Some 787 Dreamliners are also built in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Rendering of the Boeing 737-MAX, entering service in 2017 [Image via Boeing]
Boeing is currently cranking out 42 of their 737s per month from their Renton, Washington factory. The company plans to ramp that up to 47 per month to produce the new 737-MAX, which is due to enter service in 2017. While their legacy 747 jumbo jet is no longer selling very well, Emirates Airlines just placed an order for 150 of Boeing's new 777X, valued at $56 Billion. Emirates already flies 138 777s, according to planespotters.net.
Single-aisle planes like the A320 and Boeing's 737 are expected to make up 70 percent of new aircraft orders. Boeing's narrow-bodied 757 hasn't been built since 2004, but rumors have recently surfaced that Boeing is looking into bringing a modernized version back into production. U.S. based airlines including American and jetBlue have been ordering the Airbus A321, which is currently the largest single-aisle aircraft available. Boeing doesn't offer a similar product in that capacity and efficiency range, so they're losing market share. Airbus will be opening an A320 assembly line here in America next summer, in Mobile, Alabama.
Boeing's first 787-9 Dreamliner was delivered to Air New Zealand on Tuesday [Image via Boeing]
HeraldNet also reports Boeing also expects 8,500 twin-aisle planes such as the 777 and 787, or Airbus' A330, A350 and A380 to be ordered, worth $2.5 trillion. Although that is far less demand than that of the single-aisle aircraft, the wide bodies are worth far more. Much of the growth in demand for planes is coming from overseas. While many airlines here in the U.S. are still working out the kinks of consolidation forced by mergers over the past few years, air travel demand in Asia and India has skyrocketed.
New planes are good for everyone. They create jobs and stimulate commerce. The newest planes are more environmentally friendly and offer more passenger comfort than ever before, if you can pay the price. So as long as airport capacity and air traffic control is able to meet the increased demand for air travel, the industry has nowhere to go but up.
Top image - Boeing 777 assembly line in Everett, Washington. Getty Images.