* Revises up 20-year forecast by 3.8 percent
* Exec sees long-term scope for higher production
By Tim Hepher and Alwyn Scott
PARIS/SEATTLE, June 11 Boeing upgraded
its 20-year forecast for airplane demand as aerospace firms
heading to next week's Paris Airshow look beyond the financial
crisis to pin their hopes on Asia.
The U.S. planemaker said on Tuesday airlines, lessors and
freight firms would need 35,280 new jets worth $4.8 trillion as
the world's fleet doubles over the next two decades -- raising
by 3.8 percent the company's previous 20-year outlook.
The bullish new forecast anticipates a surge in Asia-Pacific
travel that will keep production rates at jet factories rising,
but includes a downward revision of forecasts for Europe and
North America where prospects for recovery are uncertain.
"By 2032, Asia-Pacific will be by far the world's largest
travel market," Randy Tinseth, vice president for marketing at
Boeing Commercial Airplanes told a news conference.
"There is no doubt the industry's centre of gravity is
moving from the U.S. to Asia. Right now, 37 percent of all
traffic touches Asia -- by 2032 it will approach 50."
Boeing said passenger and cargo traffic, both indicators of
economic activity, are expected to grow 5 percent annually.
The increase in Boeing's forecast reflects strong demand for
the most popular category of airliner, 150-seat medium-haul
planes like the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 where the dominant
planemakers face new competition from Canada, China and Russia.
The rise of Asian low-cost carriers such as Malaysia's
AirAsia or Indonesia's Lion Air has pushed up orders.
Worldwide, airlines will need 24,670 of these single-aisle
jets worth $2.29 trillion at list prices, according to the
latest forecast, up from 23,240 forecast last year.
To cope with the demand, Airbus and Boeing are once again
discussing the prospect of increasing output to whittle down
large backlogs after adopting a wait-and-see attitude during the
"There is room for us to grow in terms of (production) rate,
there is room for Airbus to grow in terms of rate and
frankly there is probably also room for a third competitor. We
do have some upside in terms of long-term rates," Tinseth said.
Airbus sales chief John Leahy told Reuters last week it was
studying an increase in production once the latest model of A320
enters the market in 2015.
Boeing Chief Executive Jim McNerney told investors last
month there was "upward bias" in jetliner production.
Boeing dismissed concerns that aircraft makers are churning
out too many planes, creating oversupply.
Among larger and smaller planes, the trend is for less or
flat demand compared with previous forecasts, Boeing said.
The forecast for twin-aisle planes such as the Boeing 777
and 787 and the Airbus A330 and A350 fell 1.5 percent to 7,830,
compared with last year's forecast, Boeing said.
For Boeing 747 and Airbus A380 jumbo jets, the forecast fell
3.8 percent to 760 planes, from 790 aircraft forecast last year.
The forecast for regional jets made by Bombardier
and Embraer was unchanged at 2,020 aircraft.
Global passenger traffic will rise about 5 percent this
year, matching the long-term trend, and slightly faster in 2014,
said Randy Tinseth, vice president of marketing at Boeing
The global fleet of commercial airplanes hit 20,310 last
year, its first time above 20,000, and is expected to more than
double to 41,000 planes by 2032, Boeing said.
Of that fleet in 2032, about 41 percent will be replacement
aircraft for jets coming out of service, 59 percent will reflect
growth in travel and about 6,000 will be airplanes still in