East by southeast

MANILA – I’m still on the road in Asia where I’ve had the opportunity to present media briefings on the commercial airplanes market outlook for the Asia Pacific region - first at Asian Aerospace 2009 in Hong Kong, then in the Philippines, and later this week, in Beijing.


At Asian Aerospace, my colleague Jim Edgar, our Commercial Airplanes regional director, Cargo Marketing, noted that despite unprecedented contraction in cargo traffic, we remain confident in the long-term strength of the market. Asian carriers will add about 750 freighters to the fleet to accommodate growth and airplane retirements.


A model of the COMAC C919 on display at Asian Aerospace.

In Hong Kong we also reported that based on our forecast Asia Pacific will become the largest air travel market on the planet. We think that in 20 years, more than 40% of the world’s airline traffic will involve that region of the world.

In fact we think that in less time than that, maybe less than 10 years, Asia Pacific will rank as the top air travel market.


At the Boeing media briefing in Hong Kong, a lucky drawing winner came away with a 1/100th scale 747-8I model. And that winner was a surprised Charlotte So, business reporter for the South China Morning Post.

After two days of non-stop media interviews at Asian Aerospace I jetted into Manila. Believe it or not, this was my first visit to the Philippines. That’s right. Despite thousands of miles of travel, I’d never before found myself in this part of Southeast Asia.

When I got to Manila, I had just missed some rain showers. Instead, I was impressed by the abundance of sunny hospitality surrounding me. Boeing has a long history of valued partnership with the Philippines dating back to legacy Boeing airplanes in service here since 1946.

This is a burgeoning market where roughly one in ten jobs is supported by travel and tourism. The Philippines welcomed 3.1 million international visitors in 2008.

At a media briefing in Manila, I was joined by more than 40 journalists, with the support of some Philippine Airlines (PAL) executives.


I shared some great conversations in Manila. Here I’m with (L to R) Cesar Chiong, PAL senior assistant VP; Scott Grimsby, Boeing sales director; Nicky Gozon, PAL executive assistant to the president; and Jaimie Bautista, PAL president and CEO.

One of the key things I pointed out was that while the world aviation market is challenging today, overall, Philippine carriers are growing. The Philippines market has seen significant growth over the last 10 years.

There are five new jet operators, and scheduled weekly seats have doubled over the past 10 years (based on Philippine operator departures – August 2009 vs. August 1999). Carriers here serve more than 27 international destinations and have 21 jets on order including four 777s, plus two others on lease

By the way, the Boeing 777-300ER joins the Philippine Airlines fleet this November.

From here, I continue my Asia travels for a while longer. This week, it’s several days of meetings in China with customers and journalists.

Comments (8)

Paulo M (Johannesburg, RSA):

Looks like fun. That's such a cool model that Charlotte So's holding there.

What's your thoughts on the COMAC C919, looks similar to the A320-200.

GP ((St. Louis)):

Funny, Read an article the other day stating the chinese are coming out with the C919 by 2016 and it is going to be 15% more efficient than Boeing's 737 and Airbus 320's.

I'm thinking to myself 2016 that is seven years from now. I would think that Boeing's 737 will at least inherit its sister ships technologies, the 787 and 747 structures, engines, systems to make it way more efficient than 15%.

Adolfo A. Pedregosa (Hong Kong):

If PAL bought the B777-300ER in 2005, or the B777 Classics wayback in 1996, it could be in a better cash position today.

Early B777 operators CX, TG, SQ and JAL avoided huge financial losses because of this planes.

Why not add B777Freighters for Cargo operations. Foreign airlines in Manila make a killing on Philippine exports. PAL has no Cargo aircraft.

Chris C (South Africa):

Thanks for the updates, Randy!

Very impressive 747-8I model as well. I’m sure the Boeing sales teams are itching to hand out more -8I models to new -8I airline customers soon as well! ;)

Kevin (Los Angeles, CA):

That's a very luckly lady who won the 747-8I model.

I wish Boeing website had a 3-D digital model that a viewer can move around with a cursor and see it from different angles.

TC (Mt. Vernon, WA):

That is a beautiful model of the 747-8I in the dreamliner livery. I'd like to see the 747-8F painted similar to the original 747, since they both have the short upper deck. In my opinion, the classic Boeing red stripe with black markings is the defining livery, although Pan Am comes close.

Norman (Long Beach, California, United States):

The 747-8I model looks nice, very detailed.

The COMAC C919 looks interesting, so far little is known about the aircraft that I have found online other than the date of service entry and the fuel efficiency over the current competitors.

Felipe (Sao Paulo, Brazil):

The C919 winglets look like the A330's.

Why don't we get sort of a contest here to win a 747-8I model??!?!

I would certainly appreciate a lot to have one of those in my desk, in place of a mini Ferrari and a rubber plane.

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