Down Under in Australia and New Zealand

I mentioned earlier that I was headed to Australia and New Zealand to brief airline customers, news media, banks, industry and financial analysts and government agencies on Boeing’s commercial market outlook for both the near-term and 20 years out. Those of you following our media coverage know that I also made quick stops in Japan and Korea.

The key takeaway from our research and analysis is that, despite near-term challenges facing the aviation industry, air travel is, and will continue to be, an integral part of the economic and social fabric of our world. The aviation industry has proven to be very resilient and we see strong long-term growth.

I arrived in Auckland right at the start of the southern-hemisphere spring. The weather was glorious. Went to a rugby match and enjoyed New Zealand’s national sport.

photo of the rugby field

During a New Zealand rugby match, a “lineout” brings the ball back into play after going out of bounds.

The trip was incredibly busy, with a full schedule of briefings – especially in Australia. But I did have a free hour in Sydney to stroll The Rocks near the harbor and soak in the view of the famous opera house.

photo of the opera house

A look at Sydney’s famous opera house as seen from The Rocks across Sydney Harbour.

Though the stops in Seoul and Tokyo were brief, nearly 80 media outlets attended the sessions. A keen point of interest for both Oceania and N.E. Asia: Over the next 20 years, Asia-Pacific will lead the world in air traffic growth, with annual growth of 7%. This compares to a world average rate of 5% growth in air traffic over the same 20-year period.

Also of interest was a trend of the past 20 years: The growth in intra-Asia air travel has been accompanied by a dramatic growth in frequency — the number of flights available to the flying public — as well as growth in the number of destinations a traveler can get to nonstop, without flying through a hub airport.

This trend shows no sign of letting up in the foreseeable future, and is reinforced by our estimate of airplane sizes. Of all the airplanes delivered in the next 20 years, only 3% will be very large airplanes – 747s and larger. About 65% will be single-aisle planes, and 23% will be twin-aisle.

747-8 revisited

Speaking of 747s, my blog on the new 747-8 intercontinental had one of the highest comment counts so far this year. I guess that’s no surprise. Recently, readers of Flight International magazine voted the 747 the top civil aircraft of all time. And with its new engines, wings, system, and material technologies, the 747-8 Intercontinental is extremely efficient and will have the lowest cash operating cost of any long-range airplane.

On the other hand, our analysis shows that smaller planes with greater range is a strong and established trend. In part that’s because of the risk associated with super-sized planes – having to fill all those seats day in and day out. But in those markets where a large airplane does make sense, the 450-seat new 747-8 Intercontinental will delight passengers and operators alike. Go to newairplane.com to see this great new plane.

Getting back to Australia/New Zealand, there’s lots more I could talk about – including something that turned out absolutely perfect, which I’ll share with you next time.

Comments (3)

Norman (Long Beach, California, United States):

I am glad that the market is still strong in Australia and New Zealand. Qantas and Virgin Blue, and Air New Zealand have been great customers,
Qantas and Air New Zealand have both ordered the 787 and Virgin Blue has ordered the 737 and the 777-300ER.

Though much of the western world is in a banking and credit recession, China and India have avoided big losses and have rapidly expanding middle classes and with entry in this class comes mobility; in business and in recreation. With more mobility there is a need for more airlines, for example, in China, before the opening of markets, there was only one large airline CAAC, and now it is three large airlines, Air China, China Eastern and China Southern and a few medium airlines, in India, there was only a small Air India and no other international airline, and now, there are three big carriers, a much larger Air India, Jet Airways, and Kingfisher Airways. With the new demand and deregulation, there is a very strong demand for mid-size long-range wide-body airliners as there are more airlines per market and there is a lesser need for aircraft like the A380 in size, but such sized airliners are still useful in high yield markets where there are few airlines in service to a destination.

It is no surprise that the 747-8 has the highest comment count for the year as it is based on the most famous and iconoclastic wide-body airliner.
The new 747-8 is a natural progression to the well-proven 747 series.

John Soppet (Amberley, Queensland, Australia):

I'm a Kiwi from Auckland, NZ.
Ex New Zealand Airforce.

Glad you liked our fair country.
I prefer the Queensland climate and enjoy working for Boeing. Would love to visit the Museum of Flight at Boeing Field and the facilities at Renton.
When I fly commercial, I always choose flights operating Boeing Aircraft.
Cheers, John

Chris C (South Africa):

747-8 revisited:
The first Boeing 747, a 747-100, dramatically launched the “wide-body” airliner era on February 9th, 1969 at 11:34, when development aircraft RA001 rotated at 140kts and climbed into the wintery sky above Seattle. “The spacious age has begun,” Boeing proudly boasted as the airplane that would change the face of mass air-travel for ever, graced the skies. No one could’ve predicted that nearly 40-years later, the 747 would not only still be in production and have surpassed the 1,500 firm order mark, but that the “Queen of the Skies” was about to start an all-new era in the form of the highly-efficient, and ultra-capable 21st Century 747-8 family. With the 747-8 family, Boeing has succeeded in securing 747 production well into the first few decades of the 21st-century, and has also cemented the 747 as the greatest commercial airplane ever built. The 747 is indeed a very special, ageless airplane that will always be the true “Queen of the Skies”, period. All the very best with the on-going sales’ campaigns to sell these phenomenal airplanes to the world’s airlines. As Lufthansa has said, the 747-8 will be a big success.

An interesting fact: Lufthansa has indicated that some of their -8Is will be equipped with 440 seats, whilst others at around 405. In the 405 seat configuration, the -8I will burn 3,5lts/pax/100km and fly a range of 13,500km with revenue freight as well. Their Airbus A380, configured to 549 seats, will burn 3,4lts/pax/100km and fly a range of 12,000km with revenue freight. This clearly shows that both airplanes are very efficient, and at the same time, compliment each other well. It’s not a case of operating one or the other...it’s a case of definitely operating both!!

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