Covid-19 will wipe 11% off demand for new planes over next decade – Boeing

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Demand for new airliners will be cut by more than 10% over the next decade due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to Boeing.

The American aerospace group is forecasting that 18,350 commercial planes will be needed between 2020 and 2029, valued at 2.9 trillion US dollars (£2.2 trillion).

It said this is 11% fewer planes than its comparable 2019 forecast.

The firm is more optimistic for the longer term as it expects the number of aircraft deliveries to reach 43,110 by 2039.

Boeing vice president of commercial marketing Darren Hulst said the aviation industry “remains dramatically impacted by the pandemic worldwide”.

He warned it will take “just over three years” before passenger demand returns to what it was before the outbreak of the virus, with domestic travel recovering faster than the international market.

Mr Hulst said: “It will probably take a little longer than the three years to get long haul markets back to pre-pandemic levels. And as a result, wide-body (aircraft) demand will take a little longer to return to pre-pandemic levels.”

He continued: “History has also proven air travel to be resilient time and again.

“The current disruption will inform airline fleet strategies long into the future, as airlines focus on building versatile fleets, networks and business model innovations that deliver the most capability and greatest efficiency at the lowest risk for sustainable growth.”

He told reporters that a “tremendous amount of work” has been put into efforts to get the 737 Max aircraft recertified by regulators following two fatal crashes and concerns about its design.

“Once the regulators certify the aeroplane, they’re putting their stamp of approval on the safety of the aircraft,” he said.

“Without question I think the scrutiny, the analysis, the amount of work that’s been done, will validate that this is, this will be, a safe aircraft.

“This is a safe aircraft for passengers to travel on and we’ll work closely with our customers to continue to share any messages on specifics that we can share with the travelling public on how this was achieved.”

Meanwhile, the International Air Transport Association (Iata) warned that airlines will burn through an estimated 77 billion US dollars (£59.4 billion) of cash during the second half of the year due to the slow recovery in air travel.

It called on governments to give more financial support during the winter months.

Iata director-general Alexandre de Juniac said: “The crisis is deeper and longer than any of us could have imagined, and the initial support programmes are running out.

“Today we must ring the alarm bell again. If these support programmes are not replaced or extended, the consequences for an already hobbled industry will be dire.

“Historically, cash generated during the peak summer season helps to support airlines through the leaner winter months. Unfortunately, this year’s disastrous spring and summer provided no cushion.”

The UK aviation sector has repeatedly urged the Government to provide more support during the coronavirus crisis.

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