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Boeing releases its latest 20-year forecast for air traffic and aircraft demand

Aviation industry giant Boeing has issued its latest long-term forecast of air traffic volumes and aircraft demand.

We closely follow these key market forecasts as we arrange thousands of charters on aircraft types built by manufacturers like Boeing and Airbus (as well as a variety of Russian-built types, private jets and helicopters).

In Current Market Outlook 2012-2031 Boeing reports that air travel continues to be resilient – noting that commercial aviation has weathered many downturns in the past.

It is forecasting worldwide demand for 34,000 new aircraft over the next 20 years, doubling the world fleet. Replacement aircraft for older, inefficient types will account for 41 percent of this figure.

Boeing says that, despite uncertainties, 2011 passenger traffic rose 6 percent above 2010 levels and the it expects this trend to continue over the next 20 years, with world passenger traffic growing 5 percent annually.

Air cargo traffic has been moderating after a high period in 2010. Air cargo contracted by 2.4 percent in 2011 – but the manufacturer also points to the expansion of emerging economies which it predicts will fuel growth of 5.2 percent annually through 2031.

This is interesting in relation to the international air charter market – where companies like Chapman Freeborn have an increasingly global footprint (new offices have opened in emerging markets including China, India, Africa and Latin America in the last few years).

Boeing reports that during the next 20 years, nearly half of the world’s air traffic growth will be driven by travel to, from, or within the Asia Pacific region.

This is in line with changes we’re also seeing in the private air charter market, with China in particular expected to take off in the next few years (a recent piece in the New York Times mentioned Chapman Freeborn’s growth in China, and highlighted that management and charter operators for private jets are popping up like mushrooms in China ).

You can read the full Boeing report here:

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