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Review of Boeing Current Market Outlook 2018

Two weeks ago, on the second day of Farnborough air show, Boeing Commercial published its yearly update of the Current Market Outlook (CMO) for the next 20 years of commercial aircraft market (2018-2037).

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

CMO 2018 vs 2017 comparison

CMO 2018 vs. 2017 comparison.

Some comments to it:

  • You can see that the total number of new aircraft delivered has slightly increased from 40,110 to 41,750, a 4.1%, which is consistent with the 4.7% traffic increase (1) that Boeing predicts (2).
  • The volume (Bn$) increases by a higher percentage, 4.8% (280 Bn$) up to 6.07 Trn$. This is due to the increase in the single-aisle aircraft expected sales in volume (9%, +300 Bn$) and aircraft (6.2%, +1,830), as the other segments see both a forecast decrease in terms of volume and aircraft.
  • 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). Last year, Boeing stopped to consider them a category by themselves and merged that category with the “intermediate twin-aisle” (i.e. 777, A350…). This year, Boeing has further reduced the detail provided in the wide-body category by merging large aircraft with the small wide-body (i.e. 787, A330…) segments and now provides a single forecast for wide-body.

This year presentation did not include slides showing the accuracy of Boeing’s CMO of 20 years ago in predicting today’s fleet. They used to include such a slide in previous years’ presentations. I will come back to that in a following post.

Find below a slide from the excutive summary [PDF, 263 kB] that provides a good snapshot of the forecast that the guys from Boeing have put up together:

BoeingCMOinfographic2018.png

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, 5.1 MB], a file [XLS, 0.6 MB] with all the data or the full CMO report [PDF, 11 MB].

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

(2) These two ratios, 4.1% fleet demand and 4.7% 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) Find the reviews I wrote comparing 2017 CMO with 2016 CMO2016 CMO with 2015 CMO2015 CMO with 2014 CMO2014 CMO with 2013 CMO and 2013 CMO with 2012 CMO.

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Airbus vs. Boeing, comparison of market forecasts (2017)

Two weeks ago, during Le Bourget air show in Paris, both Airbus and Boeing released their market forecasts for the following 20 years: Airbus’ Global Market Forecast (GMF, PDF 3.6 MB) and Boeing’s Current Market Outlook [PDF, 3.8 MB].

In previous years, I have published comparisons (1) of both Airbus’ and Boeing’s forecasts. You can find below the update of such comparison with the latest released figures from both companies.

Forecast2017

Comparison of Airbus GMF and Boeing CMO 2017-2036.

Some comments about the comparison:

  • The main comment for this year CMO is that after years of Boeing dowplaying the demand for the segment of the large aircraft (seen as mainly 747, A380 and some other high capacity aircraft, depending on the manufacturer), it has finally stopped to consider them a category by themselves and has merged that category with the “intermediate twin-aisle” (i.e. 777, A350…).
  • Excluding the large aircraft, both companies’ forecast for the twin aisle segment is nearly identical: ~8,175-8,210 aircraft (we may assume that about 100 of those 8,210 from Boeing’s CMO correspond to large aircraft, thus comparing apple to apples would be ~8,175-8,100). The mix between small and intermediate twins varies, ~400 units up and down.
  • On the other hand, Boeing forecasts about 4,700 single-aisle more than Airbus (the gap has widened in 100 units this year). Boeing doesn’t provide the split between more or less than 175 pax capacity airplanes since its 2015 CMO, nor does Airbus since 2016.
  • Alltogether, Boeing sees demand for 10% more passenger aircraft (excluding regional a/c and freighters) with a 9% more value. The gap is slightly lower than in 2016.
  • In relation to last year’s studies, Airbus has increased demand by ~1,700 aircraft (and ~ 190 Bn$) whereas Boeing has increased it by 1,400 (and ~ 130 Bn$).
  • In relation to traffic, measured in terms of RPKs (“revenue passenger kilometer”), that is, the number of paying passenger by the distance they are transported, they see a similar future: Airbus forecasts for 2036 16.5 RPKs (in trillion, 4.4% annual growth from today) while Boeing forecasts 17.8 RPKs (4.7% annual growth).

Some lines to retain from this type of forecasts:

  • Passenger world traffic (RPK) will continue to grow about 4.5% per year. This is, doubling every ~15 years.
  • Today there are about 18,890 passenger aircraft around the world (according to Airbus; 19,130 in Boeing’s CMO), this number is about 800 a/c more than the year before (5% increase) and will more than double over the next 20 years to 40,120 a/c in 2036 (41,320 as seen by Boeing, excluding regional jets).
  • Most deliveries will go to Asia-Pacific, 42% or ~17,000 passenger aircraft (according to Airbus).
  • Domestic travel in China will be the largest traffic flow in 2036 with over 2,000 bn RPK (according to Boeing, an annual growth of 6.1%), or 11.6% of the World’s traffic.
  • Nearly 13,000 aircraft will be retired to be replaced by more eco-efficient types.
Middle_Class

The doubling of the world’s middle class over the next 20 years will fuel air traffic growth and new airplanes demand.

As I do every year, I strongly recommend both documents (GMF and CMO) which provide a wealth of information of market dynamics.


(1) Find here the posts with similar comparisons I made with the forecasts of previous years: 201020112012, 2013, 2014, 20152016.

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Aircraft market forecasts accuracy (update 2017)

About three years ago I wrote a post in which I analyzed the accuracy of commercial aircraft market forecasts. In particular, Boeing’s series of yearly Current Market Outlook (CMO). In that comparison, between the CMOs from 1999 and 2014, we could compare the predicted and the actual world fleets at 2013 year-end.

In this post, I just wanted to provide an update with the figures from the latest CMO (2017), released a couple of weeks ago, in comparison with 1997’s CMO. In that CMO from 1997, we find the following chart showing Boeing’s forecasted fleet size and distribution for 2001, 2006, 2011 and 2016 year-ends.

Fleet at year end - forecast 1997

1997 Boeing CMO year-end fleet forecasts for 2001, 2006, 2011 & 2016.

In 2017’s CMO, Boeing offered figures of 2016 year-end fleet.

Fleet at year end 2016 - Boeing 2017 CMO

Fleet at year-end 2016 – Boeing 2017 CMO.

Along these years, Boeing has simplified the segmentation with which it provides the fleet and aircraft demand. Single aisle segment is not divided in up to 4 sub-segments. Twin aisle aircraft have gone from two categories (747 and the rest) to three (small and intermediate widebody and large aircraft) and back to two (small widebody and larger), but slightly different. Freighters come with less sub-segments, too.

Despite of the difference in the presentation of the fleet we can try to make a comparison:

Comparison Fleet at year end 2016

Comparison of aircraft fleet at year-end 2016: 1997 forecast vs. actual (sources: Boeing CMO 1997 and 2017).

Some reflections:

  • The overall size of the fleet was quite well predicted, with a difference of 1%.
  • The forecasts for small aircraft was too conservative: both single aisle and regional fleets are today larger than forecasted.
  • The forecasts for larger aircraft was too optimistic: both widebody and freighter fleets are today smaller than forecasted.

This year’s Boeing’s CMO presentation includes a couple of slides on the accuracy of 1997 CMO in relation to what would be the demand for new airplanes vs. what it has turned out to be 20 years later.

CMO_1997_2017

More aircraft have been delivered in relation to what had been forecasted. Retirement of aircraft also increased its pace with increases of oil price in the 2000s. See the chart below from Avolon’s paper “Aircraft retirement and storage trends” [PDF, 2 MB].

Retirement_vs_oil_Avolon.png

Now, having seen all this information, I can update this other graphic which I shared 5 years ago in a blog post titled “World commercial aircraft fleet: forecast vs. actual“:

Fleet evolution - forecast vs actual - 2017 CMO

World commercial aircraft fleet: past forecast vs. actual, and future demand (data source: Boeing CMOs up to 2017). Fleet (blue and red lines) in the left axis; market forecast (grey columns) in the right axis.

As you can see, actual fleets, forecasted fleets and forcasted fleet demand have all been increasing year by year . The compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) for each one has been:

  • Actual fleet growth: 3.65% from 1995 to 2016 (3.04% from 2000 to 2016).
  • Forecasted (15-20 years before) fleet growth: 3.52% from 2000 to 2036 (3.55% from 2000 to 2016).
  • 20-year market forecast: 4.82% from 1992 to 2017 (3.56% from 2001 to 2017).

The 20-year market forecasts have grown at a higher rate (4.82%) than fleets (3.65%), it is mainly because the first sets of data that I could retrieve come from the economic crisis of the beginning of the 1990’s, when Boeing trimmed down its forecasts. From the 2000’s the figures for market forecast have grown at a similar rate (3.56%) than those of fleets (3.04%). And so will be the growth of forecasted fleet from 2016 to 2036: 3.52%.


Notes:

  • 1990 CMO long-term market forecast is made for 15 years, not 20.
  • Forecast of fleet for the periods 2000-2003, 2005-2008 and 2010-2013 does not come from CMOs published 20 years before, but from 5, 10 and 15-year fleet forecasts included in the CMOs of 1996, 1997, 1998 and 1999.
  • Boeing does not publish 5, 10 and 15-year fleet forecasts anymore.
  • It would be interesting to have a per-segment graphic, however there is not consistent data to produce it for the same time span. Boeing has made different changes to the way it reports fleet and market segments.

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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:

CMO_1997_2017

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

BoeingCMOinfographic2017

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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Review of Boeing Current Market Outlook 2016

Last week, on the first day of Farnborough air show, Boeing Commercial published its yearly update of the Current Market Outlook (CMO) for the next 20 years of commercial aircraft market (2016-2035).

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

CMO 2016 vs 2015 comparison

CMO 2016 vs. 2015 comparison.

Some comments to it:

  • You can see that the total number of new aircraft delivered has slightly increased from 37,130 to 38,690, a 4.2%, which is consistent with the 4.8% traffic increase (1) that Boeing predicts (2).
  • The volume (Bn$) increases by a larger percentage, 7.2% (380Bn$) up to 5.66 Trn$… this is due mainly to the increase in (3):
    • single-aisle aircraft expected sales in volume (8%, +230M$) and aircraft (+1,410), and
    • small wide-body segment with 220 more aircraft (+5%) and an increase in volume of 80 Bn$ (+7%).
  • Three years ago, I wrote about a sudden change between CMO 2013 and CMO 2012 of the mix in wide-bodies; in this respect, CMO 2015 is consistent with last year’s one, showing simply an  increase in demand for both sub-segments.
  • It is interesting to note how Boeing continues to downplay the large aircraft segment at the moment when a A380 is discussed, however this year’s figures are increased in relation to CMO 2014 in terms of both aircraft and volume.

This year study’s figures and presentation focus again on single-aisle (737 MAX 8, “Medium-size aircraft are at heart of single-aisle market“) and small wide-bodies (787, “opening new markets”), the products to be pushed by the sales force.

Find below the nice infographic [PDF, 464 KB] that the guys from Boeing have put up together:

Boeing Commercial Aviation Market Forecast 2016-2035 infographic.

Boeing Commercial Aviation Market Forecast 2016-2035 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, 4.7 MB], a file [XLS, 0.6 MB] with all the data or the full CMO report [PDF, 4.1 MB].

This year again, together with the CMO, Boeing provides two interesting papers from a couple of years ago: Key Findings on Airplane Economic Life [PDF, 0.3MB, dating from August 2013] and A Discussion of the Capacity Supply -Demand Balance within the Global Commercial Air Transport Industry [PDF, 0.6MB, dating from August 2013].

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

(2) These two ratios, 4.2% 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 2015 CMO with 2014 CMO2014 CMO with 2013 CMO and 2013 CMO with 2012 CMO.

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Twin-aisle aircraft deliveries 20-year forecast (update 2015)

In a previous post I shared a graphic with the “Commercial wide-body airplanes’ deliveries per year, 1969-2015” (see below). I then commented:

“Looking backwards it’s clear that 2015 was a peak in wide-bodies deliveries. Looking forward it may have been a short-term peak, but looking further ahead it is not so clear.”

Commercial wide-body airplanes' deliveries per year, 1969-2015.

Commercial wide-body airplanes’ deliveries per year, 1969-2015.

Last November, I published a post, “Airbus vs. Boeing, comparison of market forecasts (2015)“, with the following table that compares Airbus’ Global Market Forecast and Boeing’s Current Market Outlook:

Comparison of Airbus GMF and Boeing CMO 2015-2034.

Comparison of Airbus GMF and Boeing CMO 2015-2034.

If we focus on the twin-aisle segment, we see that both companies are very closely forecasting between 7,500 and 7,600 passenger aircraft deliveries (with less than 90 aircraft of difference, a 1.2% deviation). The forecast for the freighters is not shown in the table but it is also very similar for the segment, between 718 (Airbus’ view) and 800 (Boeing’s) freighter aircraft. In combination, each company foresees between  8,290 (Boeing view) and 8,297 (Airbus’) airplanes’ deliveries in the segment. Remarkably similar and definitely converged from years ago.

In the very large aircraft segment both forecasts do not converge. But since the figures of deliveries are an order of magnitude lower, I will focus on what they define as “twin-aisle” segment.

Let’s put forward again the question: was 2015 a peak year in terms of twin-aisle deliveries?

Quick math: if we take those ~8,300 aircraft to be delivered in the next 20 years, we arrive at an average of 415 aircraft per year. That figure excludes the very large aircraft. In 2015, there were 367 deliveries of twin-aisles (excluding A380 and 747):

  • A330: 103
  • A350XWB: 14
  • 767: 16
  • 777: 98
  • 787: 135
  • IL-96: 1

Thus, in 2015 we would have been far from the peak. If we simply linearized those 8,300 deliveries from 2015 levels up to 2034, we would get the following profile:

Twin-aisle deliveries historic and 20-year forecast.

Twin-aisle deliveries historic and 20-year forecast.

The reader may correctly think that market forecast figures are not engraved in stone and are rather optimistic. Fair enough.

Both forecast have been rather accurate in the past forecasting traffic growth. Not necessarily in forecasting the number of aircraft in each specific segment. See the post, “Aircraft market forecasts accuracy (update 2014)“,  in which I analyzed Boeing CMO forecast of 1999 with the actual fleet at the end of 2013. See the result below:

Comparison of aircraft fleet at year-end 2013: 1999 forecast vs. actual (sources: Boeing CMO 1999 and 2014).

Comparison of aircraft fleet at year-end 2013: 1999 forecast vs. actual (sources: Boeing CMO 1999 and 2014).

Thus, in 2013 there were 27% less twin-aisle aircraft than what had been predicted in 1999.

If 2015 market forecasts were off the mark in the same proportion (27%), that would mean that instead of 8,300 airplane deliveries in the next 20 years we would see about 6,050… meaning ~300 airplanes per year in the 20-year span.

In that case, we might have seen the peak.

Let’s take a look at current backlogs at the end of 2015:

  • Airbus: 1,112 a/c
    • A330 family: 350 a/c
    • A350: 762 a/c
  • Boeing: 1,383 a/c
    • 767: 80 a/c
    • 777 family: 524 a/c
    • 787: 779 a/c

Thus, at the end of 2015 the combined backlog (firm) stood at ~2,500 airplanes. That is a 30% of the 8,300 forecast, and a 41% of the 6,050 aircraft (i.e. forecast reduced in 27%).

The sceptic reader could still have doubts of the quality of the backlog (i.e., some customers may go through troubled waters and cancel orders).

Last year, I published a post, “Boeing 787 orders, cancellations, deliveries & backlog through 2014“, in which I showed the orders and cancellations of the 787 programme since its launch. See the summary graphic below:

787 orders, cancellations, deliveries and backlog through 2014.

787 orders, cancellations, deliveries and backlog through 2014.

The 787 programme experienced serious delays and industrial issues from 2009 to 2013 in the midst of the worst financial and economic crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Through 2014, the programme had suffered 247 cancellations out of 1,318 gross orders, that is almost 19% of cancellations.

I believe that 19% can be considered an upper ceiling of how much of the current 2015 twin-aisle backlog (~2,500 a/c) could be considered as dubious. Thus, at least about 2,000 firm orders could be seen as rather secured.

Let’s see at the question (was 2015 a peak year?) from a different perspective: in the immediate coming years, what are the announced production rates?

Thus, according to the announced production rates and targets, in 2016 we should see about 380 twin-aisle combined deliveries, higher than the 367 we saw in 2015.

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Wide-body mix in 17 years of Boeing CMOs

Two years ago, I wrote a post showing the puzzling change in Boeing’s predicted mix of twin-aisle sales, between small and medium wide-bodies (“Wide-body mix in 15 years of Boeing CMOs”) (1). A few days ago I wrote a post about the publishing by Boeing of its Current Market Outlook for 2015-2034.  As I noted in that post, this year’s CMO is consistent with last year’s figures, i.e., the larger share of the forecasted market corresponds to small wide-bodies (787s from Boeing’s perspective). Recall the numbers:

  • small wide-bodies: 4,500 a/c in CMO2015 (passenger aircraft only),
  • medium wide-bodies: 2,990 a/c in CMO2015 (same figure as in CMO2014).

In the sub-segment of the medium wide-bodies passenger aircraft figures for  have remained constant and there is a slight increase in freighters (60 a/c); whereas for small wide-bodies the main increase is seen in the passenger aircraft (+230 a/c).

Since I keep a collection of CMOs from many years, I will include again a comparison going 17 years back…

Twin-aisle mix distribution (Boeing CMO 1998-2015, includes both passenger and freighter aircraft).

Twin-aisle mix distribution (Boeing CMO 1998-2015, includes both passenger and freighter aircraft).

Seeing at the graphic, made using Boeing’s forecasts’ figures:

  • During the first 5 years (1998-2003) the trends are quite constant, seeing medium wide-bodies a slightly higher demand.
  • From 2003 to 2007, the mix is reverted, possibly to favour the launch of the 787.
  • In 2008 the CMO did not provide the split.
  • From 2009 to 2013, you can see that both trends in the forecasts are erratic… why? Only Boeing knows. (2)
  • From 2013 to 2015, it seems that the trends are stabilized again in a higher demand for 787-size aircraft.

(1) Last year, I made an update of that post with the consolidated view of the last 16 years, find it here.

(2) A speculation: a Boeing-internal need to sell the concept of the 777X?

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