Boeing provides optimistic outlook for recovery and demand of flights

Boeing (波音公司)estimates that air travel within Asia Pacific markets will account for nearly half of the global air traffic by 2040,. (Photo courtesy of Shutterstock)

TAIPEI (The China Post) — Boeing (波音公司) estimates that air travel within Asia Pacific markets will account for nearly half of the global air traffic by 2040, driving 20-year demand for 17,645 new airplanes valued at US$3.1 trillion (NTD$86.1 trillion).

During the pandemic, the aviation industry was among those hit hardest; however, Boeing managing director of regional marketing, David Shulte (舒爾特) pointed out in an online press conference on Thursday, Boeing’s 2021 Commercial Market Outlook (CMO) showed active fleets, number of flights, and passenger traffic have all been gradually resuming compared to 2020.

Shulte mentioned that as of November 2021, the active fleet is currently at about 85% of pre-pandemic levels, from 15,000 previously parked to only about 3500 aircraft currently parked.

“Flights are also improving and currently at about 75% of 2019 levels primarily lead by increased utilization of single-aisle aircraft, and passenger traffic is at about 50% of pre-pandemic levels globally.”

As more people get vaccinated and countries slowly begin to re-open borders, Boeing took a look into its recovery outlook, taking into consideration of “coordination across supply from the airlines, demand on the passenger side and regulation support from the governments.”

Though the recovery period extends to 2024, the company is optimistic, adding that vaccination rates are key to it, and as restrictions come down, travel comes up in terms of flight operations.

Though there are fewer active fleets during the pandemic, Boeing has seized the opportunity to look into aircraft replacement, bringing about new technology into its newer models and retiring old aircraft which will save about US$9 billion (NTD$2500 billion) in fuel, US$16 billion (NTD$4445billion) in cost, and a reduction of carbon emissions to only 36 million tonnes per year.

Shulte added that market recovery as reported by International Air Transport Association ( IATA, 國際航空運輸協會), which represents about 90% of the global traffic, shows domestic traffic rise back to about 75% of 2019 levels.

“More specifically AAPA (Association of Asia Pacific Airlines) are reporting a flat 4~5% international traffic through the region with plenty of opportunities to increase,” Shulte said.

However, as Taiwan’s borders remain closed to travelers, its market remains depressed.
Though 2021 capacity has increased over the past 6 months, it’s still below even 2020 levels and remains about 35% of 2019 capacity in terms of departures.