Encouraged by the continuing strength of the single-aisle market, Boeing says airlines will need around 36,770 new aircraft over the next 20 years valued at $5.2 trillion.

The forecast, which has increased from 35,280 since last year, is dominated by the single-aisle sector which accounts for 25,680 aircraft, or 70% of the total. The growth in this sector will be sustained by large orders which continue to flood in from low cost carriers.

“We see the heart of the single-aisle market in the 160-seat range,” says Randy Tinseth, vice president of Marketing, Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “There’s no question the market is converging to this size, where network flexibility and cost efficiency meet.”

Of the remainder Boeing predicts 4,250, or 12%, will be made up of small widebody aircraft such as the 787-8/9 and A350-900 while a further 9%, or 3,460 new aircraft, will be required in the medium widebody sector. 

Boeing’s forecast for the large widebody sector covering the 747-8 and Airbus A380, has decreased to just 620 aircraft, or just 2% of the entire market. This compares to 760 in last year’s forecast. The company says this “reflects a continued shift in demand from very large airplanes to efficient new twin-engine products such as the 787-10 and new 777X.”

Boeing projects that 58% - or 21,270 – of the new aircraft will be for growth, while the balance will serve as replacements. Overall Boeing predicts some 42,180 aircraft will be flying in the world’s commercial fleet by 2033, including around 5,400 currently in service.  

As in previous forecasts, Boeing sees Asia-Pacific continuing to dominate new deliveries taking around 13,460 aircraft or 37% of the total. Just over 40% of the remainder, representing around 15,000 aircraft, will be split evenly between Europe and North America. The Middle East and Latin American markets are forecast to take almost 3,000 aircraft each.