Review of Boeing Current Market Outlook 2017

Last week, on the first day of Le Bourget air show, Boeing Commercial published its yearly update of the Current Market Outlook (CMO) for the next 20 years of commercial aircraft market (2017-2036).

I have just compared the figures for passenger aircraft of the last two years’ CMOs:

CMO 2017 vs 2016 comparison

CMO 2017 vs. 2016 comparison.

Some comments to it:

  • You can see that the total number of new aircraft delivered has slightly increased from 38,690 to 40,110, a 3.7%, which is consistent with the 4.7% traffic increase (1) that Boeing predicts (2).
  • The volume (Bn$) increases by a lower percentage, 2.3% (130 Bn$) up to 5.79 Trn$… this, as it was the case with CMO 2016, is due mainly to the increase in (3):
    • single-aisle aircraft expected sales in volume (6%, +180 Bn$) and aircraft (+1,390), and
    • small wide-body segment with 70 more aircraft (+7%) and an increase in volume of 70 Bn$ (+6%).
  • Four years ago, I wrote about a sudden change between CMO 2013 and CMO 2012 of the mix in wide-bodies; in this respect, CMO 2016 is consistent with last year’s one.
  • For years, Boeing has been dowplaying in its CMO the demand for the segment of the large aircraft (seen as mainly 747, A380 and some other high capacity aircraft, depending on the manufacturer). This year, Boeing has finally stopped to consider them a category by themselves and has merged that category with the “intermediate twin-aisle” (i.e. 777, A350…).
    • It is interesting to see that, if in CMO 2016 both segments had a combined market forecast of 3,450 aircraft (430 large and 3,020 intermediate twin-aisle), in CMO 2017 the combined figure has diminished to 3,160, a reduction of about 300 aircraft or 8.4%.
    • If the demand for intermadiate twin aircraft was about constant, that would mean that the large segment is seen to almost disappear, in Boeing’s eyes, with not many more than 100 airplanes in 20 years (down from 430 forecasted last year).

This year presentation includes a couple of slides on the accuracy of 1997 CMO in relation to what is the fleet they forecasted for the end of 2016 vs. what has been the reality 20 years later. I will come back to that in a following post, as I wrote some blog posts years ago making similar comparisons and in the last such one, commenting on CMO 2014, I mentioned

For the next such comparison we will need to wait some years, as from the year 2000 Boeing provided CMOs in a different fashion, offering a view of the forecasted fleet only 20 years from the date in question, instead of a view every 5 years. Therefore, we will have to wait until 2017, when we will be able to compare the 20-year forecast from 1997 CMO with the actuals of 2016 to be provided in 2017 CMO.

See below a quick image about that forecast:


Find below the nice infographic [PDF, 539 KB] that the guys from Boeing have put up together:


Boeing Commercial Aviation Market Forecast 2017-2036 infographic.

As always, I recommend going through the CMO, as you can learn a lot about the business: from global numbers, to growth, traffic figures, fleet distributions, forecasts, etc… You may find the presentation [PDF, 3.8 MB], a file [XLS, 0.6 MB] with all the data or the full CMO report [PDF, 53.6 MB].

(1) Traffic increased measured in RPKS (revenue passenger kilometers) in billions.

(2) These two ratios, 3.7% fleet demand and 4.8% traffic growth, point to an implicit increase in the average size of the aircraft in fleet and / or a higher utilization of the aircraft (higher availability).

(3) These two segments (single-aisle and small wide-body) saw as well the largest increases in number of aircraft and volumes in the CMO of 2015 in relation to 2014.

(4) Find the reviews I wrote comparing 2016 CMO with 2015 CMO2015 CMO with 2014 CMO2014 CMO with 2013 CMO and 2013 CMO with 2012 CMO.

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