Forecast International Predicts Consistent Growth and Fierce Competition in Large Airliner Market

Newton, Connecticut, UNITED STATES

NEWTOWN, Conn., June 17, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Forecast International's newly released "The Market for Large Commercial Jet Transports" projects that 14,585 large commercial airliners will be produced in the 10-year period from 2013 to 2022. The Connecticut-based market research firm estimates the value of this production at $2.17 trillion in constant 2013 U.S. dollars.

Forecast International predicts that annual production of large airliners will increase each year from 2013 through 2020. These increases are expected to result mainly from production ramp-ups for new aircraft that are entering the market, such as the Airbus A350 and Boeing 787 widebodies, and, later on, the re-engined A320neo and 737 MAX narrowbodies.

Meanwhile, amid concerns over supply chain capacity, Airbus and Boeing have tempered talk of future production increases for most older aircraft models. This caution appears to be justified.  Forecast International senior aerospace analyst Raymond Jaworowski said, "Further production increases in certain airliner programs would substantially increase the potential for bottlenecks among suppliers, leading to delayed deliveries and customer frustration. In addition, in a time of global economic uncertainty, a number of suppliers would likely be wary if asked to support additional production rate hikes."

Airbus and Boeing are facing several new competitors in the narrowbody segment of the large jetliner market, including the Bombardier CSeries, the COMAC C919, and the Irkut MC-21.  Despite this new competition, the large jetliner market will remain essentially an Airbus/Boeing duopoly during the next 10 years.

Far from being a cozy duopoly, though, the rivalry between Airbus and Boeing is marked by fierce competition, with both companies spending considerable resources on new product development and innovation.  Jaworowski notes that, "By 2022, the Airbus and Boeing product lines will look very different from the way they do now."

The competitive moves and countermoves made by Airbus and Boeing can be seen in both the narrowbody and widebody segments of the market. In the narrowbody sector, Boeing is responding to Airbus' new A320neo family with the 737 MAX series. In the widebody segment, Boeing's introduction of the 787 has led Airbus to respond with the new A350, which is scheduled to enter service in 2014 and is targeted at both the 787 and Boeing's 777.  Boeing, in turn, looks ready to launch the re-engined and re-winged 777X series, comprising significantly upgraded models intended to protect the 777's market position from encroachment by the A350.

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