US aerospace giant Boeing said Thursday it saw a softer world commercial airplane market over the next two decades because of the global economic downturn, slumping air traffic and volatile fuel prices.
Boeing said in its annual outlook report that it expects a 3.2 trillion dollar market for commercial airplanes in the 2009-2028 period, unchanged from last year's 20-year outlook.
But the company forecast demand for 29,000 new passenger and freighter planes in the period 2009-2028, compared with the prior forecast of 29,400 planes.
Market growth will be led by an expansion of flight capacity, with airline companies buying 58 percent of planes, while fleet renewals will account for 42 percent of purchases, Randy Tinseth, vice president of marketing for Boeing's commercial aircraft, said in a conference call with reporters.
Tinseth noted that the airplane industry was cyclical, with "a long history of declines and upturns."
But, he said, "it's a very resilient industry and we expect it to continue to be resilient in the future."
According to Boeing, traffic growth has averaged more than 5.0 percent per year over the past 30 years.
Boeing said that over the next 20 years, passenger traffic was expected to grow at an average pace of 4.9 percent each year and freight traffic would increase at an average annual rate of 5.4 percent.
The growing Asia Pacific region will lead the commercial airplane market in both units and value, the Chicago-based company projected.
Boeing forecast Asia Pacific with buy 8,960 aircraft, or 31 percent of demand, and spend a total of 1.13 trillion dollars, or 36 percent of the value.
Air travel to, from and within the growing region will increase to a 41 percent share of the world travel market by 2028, from a 32 percent share.