Boeing sells $100bn of aircraft – but who will fly them?

Boeing sells $100bn of aircraft – but who will fly them?

At the Farnborough International Airshow in the UK, Boeing announced a total of $98.4 billion in orders and commitments for commercial aircraft at list prices and $2.1 billion in commercial and defence services orders and agreements.

Following the airshow, however, Boeing also released its 20-year forecast that showed a demand for some 790,000 pilots, which the company says will not be possible to meet.

Sales

Boeing customers announced 673 orders and commitments in total, reflecting a continued resurgence in demand for freighters and strong order activity for the 737 MAX and 787 passenger aircraft. Boeing secured 48 orders and commitments for the 777F, five for the 747-8F, reflecting continued strengthening in the cargo market globally.

Customers also continued to demonstrate a strong liking for Boeing’s passenger aircraft portfolio, with 52 orders for the 787 and 564 for single-aisle 737 MAX, including a major commitment from VietJet for 100 aircraft and strong demand for the largest variant of the MAX family, with 110 orders and commitments for the 737 MAX 10.

On the services side of the business, Boeing secured commercial and government customers including Antonov, Atlas Air, Blackshape, Cargolux, Emirates, EVA Airways, GECAS, Hawaiian Airlines, International Water Services, Malindo Air, Okay Airlines, Primera Air, Royal Netherlands Air Force, United States Air Force, WestJet and Xiamen Airlines.

At the show, Boeing also revealed its 2018 Commercial Market Outlook, raising its 20-year forecast for commercial aircraft and services to $15.1 trillion. The global market is forecast at almost 43,000 new aircraft, valued at $6.3 trillion, and demand for $8.8 trillion worth of commercial services through 2038. The strength of the cargo market, noted in the CMO, was underscored by more than 50 freighter orders and commitments at the show.

During the show, Boeing also announced its collaboration with artificial intelligence company SparkCognition to deliver unmanned aircraft system traffic management (UTM) solutions. This announcement coincided with the launch of Boeing NeXt, an incubator organisation for future commercial mobility solutions that will shape the emerging world of travel and transport. Boeing NeXt will leverage the company’s research and development activities and investments in areas such as autonomous flight, smart cities and advanced propulsion, and address transportation challenges of the future by moving people and goods with proven technology.

20-year pilot demand

Boeing has also released its 2018 Pilot & Technician Outlook, projecting demand for 790,000 pilots over the next 20 years. This represents double the current workforce and the most significant demand in the outlook’s nine-year history.

The demand is being driven by an anticipated doubling of the global commercial aircraft fleet, as well as record-high air travel demand and a tightening labour supply. This year’s outlook also includes data from the business aviation and civil helicopter sectors for the first time.

“Despite strong global air traffic growth, the aviation industry continues to face a pilot labour supply challenge, raising concern about the existence of a global pilot shortage in the near-term,” said Keith Cooper, vice president of Training & Professional Services, Boeing Global Services. “An emphasis on developing the next generation of pilots is key to help mitigate this.”

Despite the commercial pilot demand forecast holding nearly steady, maintenance technician demand decreased slightly from 648,000 to 622,000, primarily due to longer maintenance intervals for new aircraft. Collectively, the business aviation and civil helicopter sectors will demand an additional 155,000 pilots and 132,000 technicians.

Demand for commercial cabin crew increased slightly from 839,000 to 858,000, due to changes in fleet mix, regulatory requirements, denser seat configurations and multi-cabin configurations that offer more personalized service. In addition, 32,000 new cabin crew will be required to support business aviation.

 

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