NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Boeing Co. projects that commercial aircraft fleets will double to nearly 33,000 jets worldwide by 2020, and that airlines will spend $1.7 trillion on new planes in the next 20 years.|
The forecast, released at the Paris Air Show Wednesday, sees most of the growth in smaller aircraft, with 18 percent of sales, or 4,200 planes, being regional jets carrying fewer than 90 passengers. Another 56 percent, or 13,300, will be larger regional jets or standard single-aisle aircraft.
Boeing predicts only 5 percent of sales, or 1,100 jets, will be jumbo jets the size of the Boeing 747 or larger. Boeing earlier this year dropped plans to offer a so-called "super-jumbo" that would compete with the planned 550-seat A380 offering from European competitor Airbus Industrie. The first A380 is due for delivery in 2004.
Boeing 737-900 jets under construction. The world's largest aircraft maker says smaller single-aisle jets will comprise most commercial aircraft sales over the next 20 years.|
Airbus has been winning a number of high-profile orders at the current Paris Air Show, including a $9.4 billion order for more than 100 aircraft from U.S.-based International Lease Finance. The European consortium expects to walk away from the show with 300 orders as it continues to close the sales gap with Boeing, currently the world's largest aircraft manufacturer.
When Boeing dropped its super-jumbo plans it announced it is developing designs for a new commercial plane to fly just below the speed of sound. It said its forecasts do not include the market for the so-called "sonic cruiser" jet, although it believes there will be demand for several thousand of the aircraft.
Boeing said by flying just below the speed of sound, about 15 percent faster than current jets, the sonic cruiser will be far more cost effective than the supersonic Concorde jet. But some analysts have questioned whether Boeing can meet the design challenges that will allow airlines to operate the sonic cruiser economically.
Boeing said it believes increased competition between airlines will lead carriers to turn to outside contractors to provide aircraft services, a field Boeing recently entered. Boeing said that during the next 20 years it sees aircraft services being worth $3 trillion, or nearly twice what it sees carriers spending on new aircraft.
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Boeing's forecast was simply an industry-wide outlook and had no projections for its own sales or profit guidance.
Shares of Boeing (BA: Research, Estimates), a component of the Dow Jones industrial average, lost $3.08, or just less than 5 percent, to close Tuesday at $61.80.