Aircraft market strong, globally anyway

By Courtney Howard
Posted by Courtney E. Howard

Bombardier Aerospace of Belfast in Northern Ireland has released its annual forecasts for the business and commercial aircraft markets. The new forecasts offer predictions of a 10-year period in the business aircraft market, and a 20-year run in the commercial aircraft market.

The global aircraft market is robust, yet concern exists over waning U.S. consumption. These concerns are founded on the weakened U.S. dollar, economic downturn, and continued plight of airline companies (as evidenced by posted losses, bankruptcies, consolidation through mergers and acquisitions, and operations closing their doors). In contrast, the European jet market is described as having continued vigor, and causing Bombardier to revise its deliveries forecast upward from 2007 levels (from 9,950 in 2007 to 13,200 in 2008).

"As we transition to a more international customer base that features less emphasis on the U.S., as well as a structural shift towards larger and more cost-effective aircraft, Bombardier's key product families -- business jets and regional aircraft -- are expected to continue to generate strong interest across all markets," says Mairead Lavery, vice president, strategy and business development, Bombardier Aerospace. "With its comprehensive portfolio of business and commercial aircraft that encompass state-of-the-art technologies and innovative design solutions, and its focus on customer services, Bombardier is well positioned for the future."

In the 10-year period from 2008 to 2017, Bombardier's Business Aircraft Market Forecast predicts that business aircraft manufacturers will deliver a total of 1,320 business jets annually -- a substantial increase from the industry average of more than 620 business jet deliveries annually during the 1998 to 2007 period. The total forecasted 13,200 deliveries over the 10-year period represent revenues of approximately $300 billion for the industry, say company representatives.

Despite strong concerns over a possible downturn in the U.S. and world economies that could create a decrease in overall orders over the next two years, Bombardier officials believe industry deliveries should continue to increase until 2017. Demand for business jets is growing within the company's international base of customers. In fact, international business represented 67 percent of Bombardier orders for 2007.

According to Bombardier's Commercial Aircraft Market Forecast , demand for 20- to 149-seat commercial aircraft is expected to reach approximately 12,900 new aircraft in the 20-year period from 2008 to 2027, totaling approximately $528 billion.

The forecast reflects the shift in demand to larger commercial aircraft. In the 20- to 59-seat aircraft segment: the forecast expects a demand of approximately 500 aircraft. In the 60- to 99-seat aircraft segment: demand is expected to reach approximately 6,100 aircraft. In the 100- to 149-seat aircraft segment: the forecast predicts a demand for approximately 6,300 aircraft.

The trend towards larger aircraft, coupled with sustained higher fuel prices, will reinforce operators' requirement for modern aircraft with low operating costs, says the Bombardier forecast.

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The Mil & Aero Bloggers

John Keller is editor-in-chief of Military & Aerospace Electronics magazine, which provides extensive coverage and analysis of enabling electronic and optoelectronic technologies in military, space, and commercial aviation applications. A member of the Military & Aerospace Electronics staff since the magazine's founding in 1989, Mr. Keller took over as chief editor in 1995.

Ernesto Burden is the publisher of PennWell’s Aerospace & Defense Media Group, including Military & Aerospace Electronics, Avionics Intelligence and Avionics Europe.  He’s a father of four, a runner, and an avid digital media enthusiast with a deep background in the intersection of media publishing, digital technology, and social media. He can be reached at ernestob@pennwell.com and on Twitter @aero_ernesto.

Courtney E. Howard, as executive editor, enjoys writing about all things electronics and avionics in PennWell’s burgeoning Aerospace and Defense Group, which encompasses Military & Aerospace Electronics, Avionics Intelligence, the Avionics Europe conference, and much more. She’s also a self-proclaimed social-media maven, mil-aero nerd, and avid avionics geek. Connect with Courtney at Courtney@Pennwell.com, @coho on Twitter, and on LinkedIn.

Mil & Aero Magazine

December 2013
Volume 24, Issue 12
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