CHICAGO, Illinois: The airline industry is showing signs of recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, Boeing said on Tuesday, predicting rising demand for civilian and military planes and other aerospace services and products.
The aerospace market will be worth $9 trillion over the next decade, up from a predicted $8.5 trillion last year and $8.7 trillion in 2019 before the pandemic closed down demand, said the Chicago-based company.
Boeing also reported a small gain in new airline orders in August, posting net orders for 23 commercial jets while accounting for 30 cancellations, with 28 being the 737 Max.
Boeing delivered 22 planes last month, less than the 40 deliveries by Airbus, its European rival.
"We lost about two years of growth. However, we see recovery to pre-virus levels by the end of 2023 or early 2024," said Darren Hulst, Boeing's vice president of commercial marketing, as quoted by Associated Press.
According to government data, in August 2021 an average of 1.85 million passengers per day boarded U.S. planes, up from about 700,000 per day recorded last year, but still 23 percent below the 2.4 million daily average in August 2019.
Local air travel throughout the world is also recovering faster than international travel, as many countries are maintaining strict entry restrictions for passengers from abroad.
Domestic travel in July this year was only 84 percent of the level in July 2019, but the figure for international travel only reached 26 percent, stated the global airline trade group, the International Air Transport Association.
Despite the effects of the pandemic, Boeing's outlook has changed little from last year, predicting airlines will need 19,000 new planes to replace old ones by 2030 due to increasing demand for travel, especially in Asia.
By 2040, the global fleet of airline planes will be more than 49,000, with nearly 40 percent being purchased in the Asia-Pacific region, most notably in China, it added.
Boeing also predicts 612,000 more pilots will be required over the next two decades, along with 626,000 technicians and 886,000 flight attendants.