FeaturedReport: The 2021-2041 Boeing Market Outlook

Report: The 2021-2041 Boeing Market Outlook

Boeing forecasts $9 trillion aerospace market opportunities in commercial, defense and services over next decade

About the Boeing Market Outlook

In 1961, Boeing began sharing its annual outlook of the commercial and cargo market. Today, Boeing provides long-term market analysis in the industry areas we serve, including commercial, services, defense and space, aerospace personnel, air cargo, and finance. Throughout the year, an expert team at Boeing analyzes economic, airline, travel and fleet data to create the industry’s most-trusted market outlooks, providing Boeing’s perspective on key trends and variables that affect our view of the markets we serve. Together, these outlooks are collectively the Boeing Market Outlook (BMO) — a guide to how we see the world that allows us to make the best decisions for our customers, today and tomorrow.

Services Market Outlook 2021–2030

The Boeing Services Market Outlook (SMO) covers the support and services functions commonly found in the aviation market today. The SMO is a 10-year forecast, serving to guide business planning as well as to share with the public our view of industry trends in the commercial, business aviation, general aviation and civil helicopter, and government markets. The Boeing models for projecting the size of services markets are analytically linked to the proprietary models we use in forecasting the world airline fleet and government budgets, as well as independent assessments of the drivers of specific markets. This year, the SMO includes an extra year in calculating the growth rates using a 2019 base for consistent long-term growth comparisons.

Overall, Boeing expects the served market for support and services to be worth $3.2 trillion in the 10-year period between 2021 and 2030. At the time of writing this report, air transport traffic remains below pre-COVID-19 levels. Recovery from the onset of the pandemic continues to show signs of improvement into 2021. However, regional COVID-19 case growth and new variants may continue to bring volatility to the market. Commercial services represent $1.7 trillion of the forecast and include the services to support the growing business and general aviation markets. Government services are forecasted to be worth $1.5 trillion. The support and services functions are diverse in terms of sales, activity scope, capital intensity, and competitive environment. We segment these service functions as: maintenance, repair, overhaul, and modifications; training and professional services; and digital solutions and analytics.

Boeing 10-Year Served Market

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Executive Summary

The Boeing Defense and Space Market Outlook (DSMO) is the 10-year defense industry forecast for the markets that Boeing addresses through its defense and space offerings. The data indicates a total $2.6 trillion global market. The United States represents nearly 60% of the total market, with the rest coming from nations around the world. These large, stable markets have enduring demand driven by geopolitical and security challenges.

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Commercial Market Outlook 2021–2040

The Boeing Commercial Market Outlook (CMO) is our long-term forecast of commercial air traffic and airplane demand, including global and regional analysis. The CMO has been the industry standard for insights into the future of air travel since 1961 and annually provides valuable analysis to airlines, suppliers and the aviation community.

The 2021 CMO reflects that the global market is recovering largely as Boeing projected in 2020. Demand for domestic air travel is leading the recovery, with intra- regional markets expected to follow as health and travel restrictions ease, followed by long-haul travel’s return to pre-pandemic levels by 2023 to 2024.

2021 CMO forecast highlights include:

  • While health and regulatory dynamics will continue to shape the near-term outlook, Boeing’s analysis of market dynamics shows that commercial airplanes and services are showing signs of recovery and resilience.
  • Availability and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines will continue to be critical factors in recovery of passenger air travel. Countries with more widespread vaccination distribution have shown rapid air travel recovery, as governments ease domestic restrictions and open borders to international travel.
  • Long term, market fundamentals and resilience drive demand through 2040 for more than 43,500 new airplanes valued at $7.2 trillion.
  • The global commercial fleet will surpass 49,000 airplanes by 2040. China, Europe, North America and other Asia-Pacific countries each account for about 20% of new airplane deliveries, with the remaining 20% going to other emerging markets.
  • The global freighter fleet in 2040 will be 70% larger than the pre-pandemic fleet due to sustained demand tied to expanding e-commerce and air freight’s speed and reliability.


Resilient Aircraft Finance Market

While 2020 was a year of unprecedented challenges for the industry, Boeing Capital remains optimistic in aviation as its resilience, and its ability to rise from every crisis stronger, has proven itself time and time again. Though aircraft finance recessed at the onset of the pandemic, by the latter half of the year capital flowed back into the space in a significant way as the industry adapted and new investment opportunities emerged. We continue to believe that in the long run, the thesis for investing in aircraft remains intact. The 2021 Current Aircraft Finance Market Outlook recaps the trends seen in 2020 and explores financing developments and their potential impact on the market.


The aircraft financing environment was strong going into 2020, with abundant liquidity and low cost of capital. With the emergence of COVID-19, all sources of aircraft financing quickly reevaluated their exposures and their appetites as the entire industry, airlines, original equipment manufacturers (OEM), lessors and financiers worked to ensure liquidity.

Credit spreads widened significantly, capital markets closed to aviation, and bank capacity was used up quickly as facilities were drawn and new facilities were created. As the crisis continued to unfold, banks retreated, lessors provided sale-leaseback (SLB) liquidity and worked with airlines on payment deferrals. Capital markets came back, and new sources of funding from institutional investors and funds came to market.

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World Air Cargo Forecast 2020–2039

We publish the biennial World Air Cargo Forecast (WACF) to share our comprehensive analysis of the air cargo industry. The forecast provides insight on global air trade markets and industry trends, as well as a detailed forecast of future market growth and the world freighter airplane fleet.

COVID-19 Reducing Near-Term Air Cargo Capacity, Accelerating Express Demand

Unprecedented COVID-19 passenger market impacts have also disrupted air cargo in 2020. Through September, global air cargo capacity was down by almost one quarter because of passenger widebody network reductions. As a result, air cargo traffic volumes were down 12%, rivaling declines in past recessions. However, yields were up more than 40% and overall air cargo industry revenues were over 15% higher.

Performance has varied widely by carrier. Many airlines with dedicated freighter fleets — especially express and charter carriers — have seen volume and revenue increases. Accelerated e-commerce adoption because of COVID-19 looks likely to extend express market growth trends. International express markets have outpaced the overall market, averaging 17% annual growth over the last five years.

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Freighters Continue to Carry Over Half of All Air Cargo Traffic

One key observation from the COVID-19 crisis has been the importance of main deck freighters in airplane fleets and the global air transportation system. While increasingly capable passenger widebody airplanes have helped the air cargo industry grow over the last decade, dedicated freighters are expected to continue carrying over half of global air cargo traffic for multiple reasons.

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Global Freighter Fleet to Grow More Than 60% to 3,260 Over the Next Two Decades

A combination of 4.0% annual average traffic growth, measured in tonne-kilometers, and a proven need for dedicated freighter capacity means the freighter fleet will grow by more than 60% over the next two decades. By 2039, 2,430 freighters are forecast to be delivered, with approximately half replacing retiring airplanes and the remainder needed to meet projected traffic growth. More than one-third of these deliveries will be new widebody cargo airplanes; nearly two-thirds of the deliveries will be conversions from passenger airplanes.

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Pilot and Technician Outlook 2021–2040

As the commercial aviation industry navigates an uneven global recovery from the recent market downturn caused by COVID-19effective training and an adequate supply of personnel remain critical to maintaining the health, safety and prosperity of the aviation ecosystem.

Long-term demand for newly qualified aviation personnel remains strong, as 612,000 new pilots, 626,000 new maintenance technicians and 886,000 new cabin crew members are needed to fly and maintain the global commercial fleet over the next 20 years.

Meeting projected pilot, aircraft mechanic and flight attendant demand is wholly dependent on industry’s investment in a steady pipeline of newly qualified personnel to replace those who have left or will soon exit the industry through mandatory retirement, early retirement, recent layoffs and furloughs, and ongoing attrition. The global aviation industry will need to keep a sharp focus and engage in collective efforts to build a robust, diverse talent pipeline through more educational outreach and recruitment, development of new pathways to aviation careers, investment in early-career learning opportunities, and deployment and adoption of more efficient learning methods. Opportunity for aspiring aviators will abound while operators will face stiff competition in recruiting and retaining top tier talent.

Those in this industry who emerge from market downturns have historically resumed their growth trajectory through collaboration, adaptation, and innovation. To address challenges created during the COVID-19 pandemic, the training industry is adopting increasingly innovative solutions. Many training providers have transitioned their offerings to online and virtual formats where possible, allowing students to continue their learning safely and remotely. Immersive technologies, adaptive learning and flexible distance learning methods have allowed the training pipeline to remain intact while evolving how training is delivered. Continued investments in these technologies will likely lead to a long-term fundamental shift in how training is conducted.

Training methodologies also continue to progress toward a holistic approach that focuses on competencies rather than prescriptive tasks. As commercial operators and training providers look toward the future, we expect to see continued investments in artificial intelligence, machine learning, and mixed reality technology that will help tomorrow’s students more quickly, efficiently, and effectively close their knowledge gaps. This will lead to a better, safer, and more efficient aviation industry.


New personnel demand is calculated based on a 20-year fleet forecast for commercial aviation aircraft with more than 30 seats. By analyzing fleet growth, aircraft utilization, attrition rates and regional differences in crewing specific to aircraft type, Boeing’s Pilot and Technician Outlook estimates the number of new pilots, maintenance technicians and cabin crew members needed worldwide.

Variations to the forecast can occur on a year-over-year basis as a result of many factors, some of which include changes in regulations, crew productivity and aircraft mix. The forecast does not currently include assumptions for single-pilot commercial airplane operations. However, it does consider impacts from alternative modes of transportation, such as advanced air mobility and high-speed rail. We continue to track the market for indications of regulatory movement and will update our forecast accordingly.

Outlook by Region

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Katatumba Tyson Tommy Is an Aerobatic Pilot. Currently Building An Electric Air Race Aircraft. Balloons, Skydiving & Aerobatics.. Big Chances Are In The Air. . Life On the Edge, Worth It Very Passionate about the aviation industry. Here to add a thing or more.

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