Aviation: 7,290 Aircraft Needed in North America Over Next 20 Years

Southwest_Boeing_737-7H4W, at San Jose, California, by Dillon Ash via Wikimedia Commons.

Southwest Airilnes is one of the carriers expected to place large orders. Photo Credit: Dillon Ash via Wikimedia Commons.

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North American airlines will take delivery on 7,290 new airplanes over the next 20 years, US plane maker Boeing predicts. They will be valued at an estimated US$820 billion. If airplanes that will be taken out of service are taken into account, the combined fleet of the United States and Canada will grow from 6,650 airplanes today to about 8,830 airplanes in 2031.


“The North American commercial aviation market is about to record a third consecutive year of profit, with modest passenger traffic growth,” says Randy Tinseth, Vice President of Marketing, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.


“The long-term outlook for the North American airline industry is approximately 3 percent annual traffic growth through the forecast period. The market is shaped by aggressive growth of low-cost carriers and the need to replace aging airplanes in the fleets of the established network carriers.”


Budget airlines will acquire a larger percentage of new aircraft than legacy carriers. Boeing expects single-aisle airplanes to grow to 69% of the total North American fleet by 2031.


Rising fuel prices, meanwhile, are encouraging such airlines as Alaska, American, Delta, Southwest, and United to replace some of their older, less efficient airplanes with Next-Generation 737s or the new 737 MAX.


Both the Next-Generation 737 and the 737 MAX offer significant advantages in improved capabilities, fuel efficiency and maintenance costs, as well as enhanced environmental performance.

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