Tale of two forecasts

I’m back from the Farnborough Airshow, where we unveiled our new Current Market Outlook for airplane demand over the next 20 years.

Airbus came out with its own forecast at the air show, once again predicting a big demand for very large airplanes— only to announce a production rate cut for the A380 the next day.

In the latest edition of my podcast, I take a closer look at the differences between the Boeing and Airbus forecasts. Click below to listen.

Comments (6)

V V (Montreal, Qu├ębec):

I also notice the Divergence in the very large aircraft segment between your forecast and the one of your competitor.

Obviously the very big aircraft market segment is not a big market and it is not growing fast, if it grows at all.

I would really like to know if you see an increasing average mission distance for A320 family and 737 family in the last ten years. Also I would like to know if you see a trend of growing number of passengers per flight (on average) for the same aircraft category.

If the A320 family and 737 family tend to fly further with a little bit more passengers per flight then it could explain your growing forecast for narrowbody aircraft. I mean those aircraft fly new routes beyond the traditional narrowbody routes.

If it is the case then there is a clear possibility a demand would appear for bigger aircraft with longer range than the current narrowbody.

If the travel growth rate is as high as mentioned in your forecast then the demand for this bigger aircraft will become obvious in about six years.

Andrew Boydston (Boise ID USA):

Art and science collide in the forecast world. The Geo Political guess is infused into the statistical calculations from a historical data pool. The over arching market view tries to find the balance between art and the scientific calculations.

Airbus tends to support its own goals for the market place rather than value the existing data and ignoring world conditions. The Airbus backlog for single aisle will cause a market shift for competitive delivery and for its customer planning. A more flexible supplier/ production is needed in the market place.

The ability to bring timely delivery within a customer's five year financials will optimize the market conditions and change the upcoming outlook. Boeing has a greater production flexibility for its customers than Airbus when it comes to future market outlooks.

Gonzaga12 (Jakarta):

Mr. Randy, how would you define the term 'Very Large Airplane'? What if a twin jet with with seat capacity equivalent to current VLA,is also considered VLA in Airbus'outlook?

Scott Hamilton (Bainbridge Island):

The difference in single-aisle forecast is due to the fact Boeing goes to 90 seats and Airbus only goes to 100 seats.

Ronald (Seattle):

The continued denial of reality by Airbus is incredible.

Norman Garza (Long Beach, CA):

To me a VLA is a plane that has a MTOW of over 1,000,000 lbs. The market is just limited because the planes are so big. The 747-8 is very close to a VLA if not one already at 972,000 lbs. I think the idea of a VLA was that just about anybody with a 747-400 in the nineties wanted a plane that was bigger in the future. Knowing that the airlines that fly the A380 are meticulous about having a very young fleet it would not surprise me if Airbus or Boeing decides to launch a "mega twin-jet" that would be a little smaller and much lighter that would replace the A380.

I like the predictions about the single aisle market and all the speculation of a further growth project for the 737 larger than the MAX 9 enveloping into the A321s territory plus range.

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