At first glance, both forecasts look like a continuation of the 2014 documents with fleet growth remaining at 3.6%. However, there is a significant change in the detail of Boeing’s numbers. Its delivery forecast for very large widebodies is down by 13% on last year’s forecast and the manufacturer is now predicting a decline in the fleet of these largest aircraft. To support this, evidence of recent route fragmentation and operators’ preference for flexibility and efficiency is cited.
Single-aisle delivery forecasts from Airbus and Boeing have increased by 4% to 22,927 and 26,730, respectively. Some simple maths using the larger of these two numbers suggests a prediction of 111 single-aisle aircraft being delivered per month on average. Airbus and Boeing’s announced intent is to deliver 50 A320s and 52 737s per month by 2017 with the possibility of 63 and 60, respectively. If the long-term delivery forecasts are to be believed, then these higher build rates look unsustainable in the long-term.